Marking its first licensing agreement with a university, Fanatics inked a 10-year deal with the University of Oregon to license, manufacture and sell its sports gear beginning on January 1, 2020.
Fanatics previously ran Oregon’s online team store, but the new pact will make it the primary licensee for apparel, headwear and most other product categories. Fanatics also will manufacture and distribute product to local retailers and direct-to-consumer.
Fanatics so far has only used its vertical manufacturing model to support professional sports leagues.
Fanatics College Exec VP Derek Eiler called the deal “transformative,” saying, “A new model is here.”
The University of Oregon’s existing relationships with Nike and Columbia Sportswear will remain separate. Nike will continue to make on-field uniforms for the university’s sports teams and retains rights to certain designs and logos. Columbia has an outerwear license with the university.
Fanatics essentially replaces Fermata Partners, the school’s former licensing agency, and will work alongside the university to decide which other categories Fanatics will handle and which will be sub-licensed to other companies.
According to Bloomberg, the 10-year deal includes a $1.5 million signing bonus plus a guarantee of $21.5 million in royalties over the ten-year partnership.
“We’ll be in a position to make sure retailers have new product quickly,” said Fanatics College Senior VP Chris Prindiville. “Seldom in college have there been true long-term partnerships. Now there’s stability. We can now really invest in the Oregon business as their retail partner, their licensing partner, their ecommerce partner, wholesale partner and licensing agency.”
Image courtesy Fanatics