At NRF, sports apparel merchant, which has licensing agreements with many of the major sports leagues, announced it will start to sell on marketplaces.

Fanatics Inc.’s expansion plans are centered on online marketplaces. And the Sports apparel retailer has big plans: it hopes to be the largest seller on any marketplace it sells on.

Michael Rubin, founder and executive chairman of Fanatics, at the National Retail Federation 2019 conference, said that Fanatics will soon announce it will be selling on a large global marketplace, and it hopes to work with several large global marketplaces in the future. He did not name the marketplace but said it will be officially launched soon.

Fanatics has a deep assortment of sports apparel plus licensing agreements with many sports leagues, including the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and MLS. Those relationships have helped drive strong sales; Fanatics generated $2.7-2.8 billion in top-line revenue in 2018, Rubin said.

When shoppers browse sports team-branded apparel on a large marketplace such as Amazon, shoppers usually find a limited selection of SKUs, Rubin said.

Fanatics hopes to take its millions of SKUs in every size and make that assortment available to marketplace shoppers, with the goal to be the only seller of licensed sports apparel available on the marketplace, he said.


Like all marketplace merchants, Fanatics will have to pay a fee to the marketplaces. For example, on average, Amazon charges marketplace merchants 15% commission on each sale, although that varies by category. Rubin compares this commission fee to the price he pays for advertising. Fanatics spends roughly $100 million annually on advertisements, including social media, natural search and TV ads, Rubin said.

Fanatics is No. 29 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000. Amazon is No. 1.