Fanatics Secures Licensing Deal with AFL’s Essendon
Fanatics, the digital sports platform behemoth, has forged its inaugural licensing partnership with Essendon. The newly established exclusive long-term commerce partnership is set to unveil a “fully refreshed online store,” catering to Melbourne AFL fans with a diverse array of officially licensed merchandise. This includes everything from “guernseys, training wear, headwear, fan apparel, official Essendon member apparel, and accessories.”
The recently launched Bomber Shop leverages Fanatics’ cutting-edge cloud commerce platform. Essendon touts the store’s hi-res product displays, seamless checkout process, multilingual options, and rapid access to the latest product offerings.
While this marks Fanatics’ initial foray into a direct deal with a specific AFL team, the brand previously inked a league-wide agreement in March of the current year. This broader collaboration designates Fanatics as a partner for both the AFL and the women’s AFLW, taking over from Playcorp in the retail category.
As part of this deal, Fanatics secures exclusive master license rights for manufacturing, marketing, and selling official AFL supporter apparel and accessories. This encompasses fan fashion apparel, knitwear, and bags.
Fanatics boasts an extensive portfolio, having partnered with over 900 sporting organisations, teams, and leagues worldwide. Notable associations include European soccer powerhouses such as Manchester United, Chelsea, and Paris Saint-Germain, England’s Football Association, UEFA, the NFL, NBA, Formula 1, England Rugby, the British and Irish Lions, and the International Olympic Committee.
Essendon concluded the 2023 AFL season in the 11th position out of 18 teams.
In early November, the AFL entered into a decade-long partnership with sports marketing agency TGI Sport. This strategic alliance with TGI aims to enhance the match experience at iconic venues such as the 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the 53,359 Marvel Stadium.