Just in time for the Super Bowl, this week sports apparel merchant Fanatics Inc. announced it will be selling hundreds of thousands of its products on Walmart Inc.’s Walmart.com marketplace.
The 10-year deal will make Fanatics the exclusive provider of licensed sports merchandise on Walmart.com. Fanatics will be the merchant of record on the marketplace sale, and therefore, will be able to control the price of its product. As the marketplace owner, Walmart receives an undisclosed cut of the sale.
At the National Retail Federation 2019 conference, Michael Rubin, founder and executive chairman of Fanatics, told attendees that it would soon announce a partnership with a large global marketplace. Rubin also said Fanatics hopes to work with several large global marketplaces in the future and hopes to be the largest seller on any marketplace on which it sells.
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.
By selling merchandise on Walmart.com, Fanatics gets exposure to the more than 107 million U.S. shoppers who visit Walmart.com every month, according to 2018 Similar Web data. This is much higher than Fanatics.com’s 2018 monthly U.S. traffic average, of 1.9 million visitors, according to Similar Web.
For Walmart, the retailer adds to its already 75 million SKUs and has at least 10 years to offer the licensed sports apparel to shoppers.
“As we continue to grow our assortment, we are also focused on adding harder-to-find specialty items,” Eric O’Toole, general manager, sports and fitness, Walmart U.S. ecommerce, writes in a blog post announcing the deal. “Today’s announcement of our partnership with Fanatics is part of this ongoing commitment to create unique, specialized experiences on Walmart.com that make it easier to find the items our customers—in this case, sports fans—are looking for.”
In terms of shoppers buying Super Bowl championship winner gear, that merchandise will be made available immediately following the game on Fanatics.com. Because of how often Walmart’s site updates, Walmart will offer that merchandise to shoppers a few days later.
Walmart is No. 3 the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000. Fanatics is No. 29.Favorite