Fanatics are going to be the newest official retail partner of the Overwatch League! Why should you care? Because it means a boatload of new stuff, of course! This is the first-ever esports deal of this type for Fanatics and it includes multi-channel retail, fan gear and manufacturing rights.
This new, multi-year deal with Fanatics was just announced yesterday, after some speculation about whether or not it really was happening. Fanatics, is, of course, the global leader when it comes to licensed sports merch, and now they are going to provide the Overwatch fans with a new assortment of products.
This is the first time a deal like this has been made, that is to say, one between a ‘regular’ sports manufacturer and an official esports league. A few of the highlights of the deal include rights to fan gear, jerseys, head-wear, hard goods and more. Don’t worry about location either – though both the OWL and Fanatics are based in America, these products will likely be shipped internationally as well.
Fanatics plans on establishing a new chain of global mobile shopping platforms as well as on-site retail stores at events, in order to cover the OWL happenings. Needless to say, this is a pretty big deal both for Overwatch as an esport and fans of the game.
“Our collaboration with Fanatics—the first between a major esports league and a global sports merchandising company—allows us to reach even more fans and to provide them with high-quality merchandise and a best-in-class retail experience where they can shop for all our great Overwatch League gear,” said Brandon Snow, chief revenue officer of Blizzard’s esports leagues. “Fanatics has a proven track record of success with major sports brands and we’re excited to work with them in expanding this part of our business.”
“Esports has been on our radar for some time now and we are incredibly excited to mark our first deal with the best in the world in Activision Blizzard around their incredibly successful Overwatch League,” said Ross Tannenbaum, head of special projects for Fanatics.
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Sounds like a pretty good deal between the two companies. The online store will be the first place that sells official gear for the newest League teams in the line-up. The Atlanta Reign, Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Paris Eternal, Toronto Defiant, Vancouver Titans, and the Washington Justice are going to be joining as of next season, and bring with them droves of new, dedicated fans.
Said dedicated fans need to, of course, be able to show which team they’re supporting – just like in ‘regular’ sports. Blizzard execs definitely noticed that fans across the globe showed up to events, especially BlizzCon wearing fan-gear.
“A significant number of fans—for regular-season matches at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and at the Grand Finals in Brooklyn—showed up in jerseys to support their teams, and we’re thrilled to make it even easier for them to represent their favourite teams and players,” said Daniel Siegel, head of esports licensing at Blizzard.
Good job for paying attention to your fans, Blizzard!