TUSCALOOSA, Alabama- Fanatics and the University of Alabama announced a long-term, multi-faceted partnership that includes a wide range of exclusive University rights for activation by Fanatics on its expanded digital sports platform. This comprehensive partnership spans multiple categories, including core licensing rights for fan apparel and headwear, e-commerce, in-stadium retail, physical and digital trading cards and collector rights. Fanatics has been a longtime partner of the University, operating the official e-commerce destination for the Alabama Department of Athletics at Shop.RollTide.com, as well as the permanent ranking of top-selling licensees for products. Crimson Tide.
Several companies from Fanatics’ digital sports platform will jointly execute this new end-to-end collegiate partnership model, including Fanatics Commerce and Fanatics Collectibles, legendary trading card brand Topps, and item company Candy Digital. next-generation digital collectibles.
The expanded partnership will allow the University to capitalize on Fanatics merchandising platforms to create, promote and distribute Alabama merchandise featuring the name, likeness and likeness (NIL) rights of current student-athletes by Crimson Tide. As the cornerstone of the new agreement, Fanatics will launch The authentic, the first-ever retail team store to open inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Scheduled to launch during the upcoming 2022 college football season, the new, one-of-a-kind fan store powered by Fanatics will feature a sizable assortment of officially licensed team apparel and NIL student-athlete merchandise, including personalized Nike player jerseys, personalized name and number t-shirts, headwear, official in-game memorabilia, Topps on-demand digital trading cards, and more.
The authentic The retail space will also create innovative engagement opportunities for Crimson Tide student-athletes to provide autographed memorabilia, host meet and greets with fans, and conduct social media marketing. to support sales of their NIL products. Fanatics will work with OneTeam Partners to obtain group licensing rights for activating NIL rights to merchandise, in addition to separate marketing and autograph partnerships.
“Fanatics has been one of Alabama Athletics’ best partners for over a decade and this new agreement elevates our relationship to new heights,” said Greg Byrne, Alabama athletic director. “By leveraging Fanatics’ expanded scope of services, we’ve positioned our university and student-athletes to maximize sales and brand exposure with Fanatics’ premier family of brands, including Fanatics Commerce, Topps and Candy Digital. I think our fans will be excited when they see it all come together in Bryant-Denny’s The Authentic store, which we plan to open this season.”
The University of Alabama has historically been Fanatics’ top-selling collegiate partner, and under the new agreement, Fanatics will gain new exclusive rights to become the primary apparel and headwear licensee of the University. Alabama across multiple retail distribution channels. Fanatics Brands, the in-house apparel division of Fanatics, will design, manufacture and distribute an expanded selection of high quality Crimson Tide licensed apparel and headwear for Crimson Tide fans everywhere. In conjunction with the University of Alabama and its licensing agency, CLC, Fanatics will support a strong assortment of additional Authorized Direct Licensees across multiple product categories to provide the widest possible assortment of apparel and covers. -Chiefs Crimson Tide. The University will also retain the right to manage all license fees through CLC for the campus and local market in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which is currently served by multiple licensees and retailers in the state.
Additionally, the Alabama Department of Athletics, through its partnership with Nike, will provide on-field performance products and fan-specific merchandise for Crimson Tide’s athletics programs, including jerseys, -authentic and replica heads and clothing.
“Fanatics’ comprehensive service offering across multiple product categories was critical to meeting the University’s expectations for a high fanatics and business experience,” said Derek Eiler, Executive Vice President of Fanatics College. “The University of Alabama has high expectations when it comes to fan experience and engagement, so by creating a one-stop-shop to meet all of the University’s needs, we’ve been able to align with a transformative partnership. to have a profound impact on Alabama Athletics.”
Fanatics Collectibles and Topps have secured the rights to design, manufacture and distribute official physical and digital trading cards. These products will combine the use of official University of Alabama marks and NIL rights for current and former Crimson Tide student-athletes. Beginning in 2025, Fanatics Collectibles will be the University’s exclusive trading card partner. Candy Digital will also create new levels of fan engagement through the creation of digital collectibles and NFTs of some former Alabama greats and current Crimson Tide student-athletes.
Given the wide range of rights at stake, the University of Alabama was assisted in the deal by Crimson Tide Sports Marketing and CLC, both of which operate within LEARFIELD, a leading media services, data and technology in intercollegiate athletics.
Fanatics, Inc. is the ultimate one-stop sports fan destination that ignites and harnesses fan passion and maximizes the presence and reach of preeminent sports partners globally. Building on long-standing relationships with over 900 sports properties, a database of over 80 million global consumers, and a trusted brand, Fanatics continues its innovation in the sports landscape by creating the leading platform global digital sports form, with offerings including licensed merchandise, trading cards and collectibles, digital collectibles and NFT.