In 2016 Amazon launched its All or Nothing documentary series. Why? To appeal to fans’ thirst for deeper, richer content that takes viewers beyond the playing field and behind the scenes of the leagues, teams, and players they love. The multi-sport series has featured several NFL teams (Cardinals, Cowboys, Eagles, Rams, Panthers), the New Zealand rugby union team, as well as several soccer teams (Manchester City, Tottenham, Brazilian National Team).
The rise of the sports docuseries, made popular in large part by ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, has given fans something they crave: more. More access. More interviews. More behind-the-scenes footage. More emotional attachment. For Amazon, All or Nothing has given the world’s largest e-commerce site something more: more eyeballs.
When you consider that fact, it makes perfect sense why Amazon continues to grow its reach by taking on its latest sporting venture – official team storefronts. Yes, Amazon has been selling official team merchandise for some time now, but never in an organized, and all-in-one-place fashion. However, with the launch of the Tottenham store there is now a direct link between its retail business and its media business – something to keep an eye on moving forward.
Official team stores make their way to Amazon
There are a lot of reasons why a team store partnership between Amazon and a club like Tottenham make sense. First of all, for Amazon it signals a shift in prioritization of licensed sports merchandise, an area of lesser focus prior. If you’re Tottenham, being able to get your official merchandise featured prominently on the largest online retailer in the world is no slouch, especially if Amazon is able to chip away at Fanatics, the leader in licensed sports merchandise sales. While Fanatics has a dedicated Tottenham page, they don’t have the global reach of Amazon.
From a media perspective, the coupling of All or Nothing with an online sales hub is a smart venture because both Amazon and Tottenham can leverage the docuseries to entice fans to visit the team store. Keeping things within the Amazon platform helps limit people looking elsewhere for a jersey or other merchandise.
Another major benefit for both Amazon and Tottenham is data. Both parties have a direct line of sight into Amazon Prime members and what they’re watching on the platform, as well as what merchandise they may be looking to purchase. The ability to target those consumers with custom ads is something both partners will relish.
The biggest benefit for Tottenham is the obvious one – they’ve now got a home on the world’s largest retailer who also happens to be a growing force in media. Tottenham can leverage their Amazon partnership in future sponsor or licensing negotiations and Amazon can leverage the team’s growing brand as a way to entice other teams to make a home on the Amazon media and retail platforms. Tottenham can also offer sellers prioritized placement within their team store on the largest online retailer, which puts them in a unique place among some of the biggest global soccer brands.
If those are the benefits, are there any drawbacks for the club? There are, however they’re much less impactful than the exposure that Amazon can provide. Tottenham and its retailers and licensees will likely be paying higher royalties, they may lose some control over design and prioritization of particular products, and they’ll have to ensure their inventory is in-sync and readily available.
Expect to see more official team stores hosted on Amazon’s retail platform. AS Monaco, for example, recently announced they will partner with Amazon and allow fans in France, the UK, Italy, Spain, and Germany to access the Amazon store.
Juventus gets TV channel on Prime Video
You can’t help but speculate that Amazon’s increased investment into more and more sport offerings is a preamble for a bigger foray into live sports in the not-so-distant future. Want another example? Juventus, whose official TV channel will now be available on Prime Video. The club will be the first in Europe to offer a TV channel on the platform. Those interested in viewing the platform will need to pay 3.99 Euros per month.
As Amazon continues to expand its roots in the sports world, expect the one-two punch of their growing media arm and their world-leading retail platform to deliver not only for Amazon, but also for all clubs with whom they’ve partnered.