Sportswear giant Nike and merchandising company Fanatics have announced a new long-term global partnership with Japanese baseball team, the Yomiuri Giants.
The trio have struck up an agreement surrounding a licensed sports merchandise model, seeing Nike become the team’s official uniform supplier, while Fanatics will manufacture and distribute on-field uniforms, player performance apparel and branded fan clothing.
Fanatics will further create and offer autograph and collectible products for fans that celebrate the team and its players.
Yomiuri Giants is the first individual club in international sports to adopt Fanatics’ merchandise model, it said in a release, which bears similarities to that of the company’s partnerships with professional leagues and US universities.
It allows Fanatics to exclusively operate the e-commerce and physical retail business for the team, including its new online store which is set to launch at the end of January 2023.
Furthermore, Fanatics will become the master licensee for the Yomiuri Giants’ merchandise portfolio, utilising the company’s vertical commerce manufacturing model to enhance assortment and speed-to-market.
Speaking on the partnership, Masanori Kawana, managing director of Fanatics in East Asia, said: “Since we began our journey in Asia five years ago, we focused on creating value for the fans with a strong belief that our global vertical business model would benefit them and work across Asia.
“This innovative model, which has proven to be successful with some of the biggest US professional leagues and Universities, will be a complete gamechanger for the Asian Sports industry and will benefit Yomiuri Giants fans with a larger selection of high-quality merchandise available wherever they are and whenever they want it.”