Monday, March 27, 2023

AFL Partners with Fanatics to Enhance Shopping Experience for Fans

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The Australian Football League (AFL) and Fanatics, a digital sports platform and global leader in licensed sports merchandise have today announced an exclusive 10-year retail and merchandising partnership, that will revolutionise the fan experience for Australian rules football’s premier competitions.  

The 10-year deal will offer AFL fans around the world the largest assortment of officially-licensed AFL merchandise ever made available, including an extensive range of AFL and AFLW product such as replica football uniforms, training and lifestyle wear. As part of the partnership Fanatics also has exclusive master license rights to manufacture, market and sell official AFL supporter apparel and accessories, including fan fashion apparel, knitwear and bags. 

Through the new partnership with Fanatics, AFL fans will also have access to new designs and brands, including for the first time ever, an exclusive AFL line from iconic sportswear and culture brand Mitchell and Ness. 

The partnership, which is Fanatics’ first with an Australian sporting league, marks a major step forward in the company’s continued strategic expansion across Australia and New Zealand. To this end, Fanatics has recently made a string of key hires across the region, with former Essendon Football Club GM Tyler Emsden brought in as Director of Business Development and Thomas Rodger as Licensing Director, APAC, who brings with him over 15 years’ experience across retail, licensing and marketing, including 11 years at Warner Bros. 

In addition, over the course of the partnership, the AFL’s official ecommerce and AFL branded retail store rights will transition to Fanatics. The official AFL Online Store will utilise Fanatics’ market-leading Cloud Commerce Platform (CCP) and will provide fans of Australian rules football with a best-in-class shopping experience, whether shopping online or via mobile, featuring hi-resolution product displays, frictionless checkout, multiple language options and the quickest access to new product offerings.

AFL Executive General Manager Customer and Commercial, Kylie Rogers , said the AFL was thrilled to be the first Australian sports league to partner with Fanatics.  

“Fanatics has partnered with a number of elite sporting codes across the world and the AFL is proud to be the first Australian sports league to partner with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed merchandise to enhance the retail shopping experience for our fans over the next ten years,” Ms. Rogers said. 

“With access to Fanatics’ unparalleled global partner network, infrastructure and unrivalled technology, we are looking forward to rolling out a fresh retail offering, both online and in-person, ensuring we continue to meet and exceed the demands of the AFL’s loyal fanbase, no matter where they are or how they prefer to shop.”

Commenting on Fanatics’ first major deal with a sporting league in Australia, Matthew Primack, Senior Vice-President for Business Affairs and Development at Fanatics, commented: Australian fans are famously passionate about sport, and we believe that historically they have been underserved relative to other markets when it comes to the merchandise made available, the distribution of that merchandise, and the freshness of the product. We’re excited and grateful for the opportunity with the AFL, and we are also very excited to see what we can do holistically across all sports in the region and beyond merchandise with the AFL. The Australian fans will have more access to more relevant products as we continue to grow our presence in this sport mad country.”

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