Major League Soccer has had a merchandising agreement with Fanatics, the online retailer of licensed sportswear, since the 2015 season. Over the last three seasons, Fanatics has been able to sell Adidas-made MLS jerseys on its website. That e-commerce only deal is about to expand in a major way starting next year in Canada and 2019 in the United States.
Whereas Fanatics could previously only sell MLS jerseys, they’re now expanding to MLS merchandise manufacturing. The new deal is meant to compliment the jersey deal, not compete with it.
Fanatics is very familiar with the online retail business around American sports. They currently power the official online stores for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, and PGA Tour, in addition to MLS. It’s already a manufacturing partner with the three biggest professional American sports leagues – the NFL, NBA, and MLB.
I see this a win-win for MLS and its fans. MLS gets a new business partner that has a pedigree in the industry and MLS fans of all clubs – both current and future – get access to new types of merchandise. Adidas continues to manufacture jerseys, while Fanatics can produce anything from t-shirts, hats, scarves, and more. Another bonus? They have the capabilities to quickly manufacture merchandise around achievements that happen in a certain game.
Read more about the agreement here