Fanatics Inc. and the University of Miami announced an innovative, 10-year, exclusive licensing partnership, which beginning in January 2020 will see Fanatics become the University’s primary apparel, headwear and hard goods partner. Miami joins several other NCAA partners for which Fanatics is the primary apparel partner.
Fanatics Brands, the company’s in-house apparel division, has secured comprehensive rights to design, manufacture, and distribute a significantly expanded selection of UM men’s, women’s, and youth products to enhance the experience for students, alumni, and fans worldwide. Miami joins a roster of preeminent NCAA programs for which Fanatics will serve as the primary fan apparel partner beginning in 2020, including the University of Florida, University of Oregon and others.
Fanatics’ innovative vertical manufacturing model and agile supply chain will ensure that UM fans have access to the largest assortments of real-time, high-quality merchandise, made available to fans regardless of shopping online, on their phones, across on-campus stores or retail locations throughout the state and region. Fanatics will also manage a wide range of additional licensees in ancillary product categories to ensure that UM quality products are offered to Hurricanes fans across all retail channels.
“We are excited to enter into this collaborative, transformative partnership with one of the NCAA’s preeminent institutions, which illustrates the progressive thinking of the University,” said Fanatics executive vice president Derek Eiler. “Our direct-to-consumer model, coupled with a continued focus on servicing key retail partners, including The U Campus Store, will ensure that passionate Hurricanes fans everywhere will have access to high-quality apparel, headwear, and hard goods across all retail channels.”
In addition to the new agreement with Fanatics, Miami will also maintain its long-term partnership with adidas as the exclusive supplier of performance products and select apparel for the University’s sports teams. Fanatics Brands’ new elevated assortment of Hurricanes apparel will complement adidas’s team merchandise and focus on serving the entire UM community. Additionally, Miami will leverage Fanatics’ on-demand manufacturing capabilities to instantly react to unscripted “micro-moments,” including record-breaking feats and hyper-local team slogans.
“Miami is thrilled to partner with Fanatics, marking a transformational change in our licensing and merchandising strategy,” said Blake James, director of athletics, University of Miami. “We believe that in the future, the focus must be on the University’s direct engagement with fans, alumni, and students, and this unique alliance with Fanatics propels our vision forward in a cohesive manner.”
One unique element of the partnership is the alignment between Fanatics and the University on data and analytics. In addition to the extensive e-commerce partnership already in place with Fanatics, Miami will also receive the benefit of a Fanatics-funded data analytics position inside the Athletics Department, which will serve as the University’s primary leader on CRM, data analytics, and digital fan engagement. This unique arrangement will not only enhance Miami’s licensing and e-commerce businesses, but also allow the University to benefit in ticket sales, development and other areas of constituent outreach.