The National Football League (NFL), along with Fanatics and Nike, announced a 10-year partnership granting Fanatics exclusive consumer product licensing rights to manufacture and distribute all Nike NFL adult products (jerseys, sideline apparel and fan gear) that will be sold through the retail community.
These include NFLShop.com, NFL clubs and brick & mortar stores. As previously announced, Nike will remain the exclusive on-field supplier for uniforms, base layer and sideline apparel for all 32 NFL teams, with the exception of headwear.
The partnership, which begins with the 2020 season, showcases a new model for licensed sports merchandise. Splitting responsibilities between Nike (outfitting the players and coaches) and Fanatics (outfitting the fans) will help the NFL find new ways to improve the experience for fans, players and retailers.
“We’re excited to bring together Nike and Fanatics, two partners at the top of their respective fields, to usher in an exciting new model for licensed merchandise.” said Michelle Micone, senior vice president of consumer products for the NFL. “By emphasizing the strengths of both Nike and Fanatics, we have a model that gives us the ability to offer superior on-field products to the teams and the nimbleness to serve the increasingly real-time expectations of today’s fans, who have more control over their choices.”
Working to improve both assortment and speed-to-market of NFL products, Fanatics will create and distribute all Nike NFL adult apparel sold at retail, including jerseys, sideline apparel, fan gear and championship products across all teams, players and colors.
“With technology, mobile and social media all contributing to a surge in real-time expectations, it’s exciting to team up with like-minded partners in the NFL and Nike, who are equally enthusiastic in rolling out a new model for this industry that best serves the fans, retailers, players and the league,” said Gary Gertzog, president, business affairs for Fanatics. “Our vertical structure will allow us to reach more fans and retailers with a wider assortment of merchandise, which is consistently stocked and replenished.”
Both Nike and the NFL will leverage Fanatics’ made-to-order capabilities to create “the largest and most responsive assortment that can instantly react to storylines throughout the NFL season, and also help to grow direct-to-consumer and wholesale efforts across retail channels,” according to the statement. While the Fanatics partnership offers fans yet another avenue to access their favorite Nike NFL merchandise, fans can continue to purchase officially licensed NFL product from Nike.com and Nike retail outlets.