Fanatics Scores Landmark NHL Uniform Partnership
The National Hockey League (NHL) has struck a major ten-year partnership with sports merchandise retailer, Fanatics, making them the league’s official on-ice uniform outfitter.
Fanatics will implement a multi-year plan to make gradual, data-driven changes, and seek contributions from players and equipment managers throughout the design process for the on-ice Stanley Cup Champions apparel and the NHL Authentic Pro Line, as the retailer aims to provide a seamless transition from its predecessor, Adidas.
Additionally, the Fanatics logo will be featured on game uniforms in professional sports for the first time.
Commenting on the deal, NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, said: “This expansion of our partnership with Fanatics is a reflection of our shared commitment to innovation, performance, and serving our players and fans.”
Fanatics CEO, Michael Rubin, celebrated this “seminal moment” in the merchandise retailer’s history, adding: “[It’s] a testament to the hands-on, collaborative relationship [Fanatics] has built with the NHL over the years.”
The partnership marks an evolutionary step in the existing relationship between the NHL and Fanatics over the past two decades, capitalising from commerce and retail operations, fan apparel and headwear, replica jerseys, licensed memorabilia, and performance and training products, to now supplying official on-ice uniforms for players and licensed merchandise for fans.
Fanatics’ new player-driven design process aims to provide well-informed recommendations from professionals, translating that into key products for hockey fans.
Commenting on the design process for the league’s on-ice uniform, NHL senior executive VP marketing, Brian Jennings, said: “[Players] understand the nuances and the importance of servicing, listening and having a feedback loop from the players and staff, which is really critical and will continue to be ongoing in this relationship.”
“And then ultimately for a fan who wants an authentic jersey, they can get that, and Fanatics already makes a replica jersey that is certainly very fan-friendly,” he said.
This announcement comes after the Fanatics struck its inaugural Australian merchandise partnership with the AFL.