This will be the first time the Fanatics logo will appear on game uniforms in professional sports. But the company has made MLB game uniforms with the Nike logo since 2017, and it has made the NHL Authentic Pro line of official performance and training apparel and headwear worn by players, coaches and staff since 2018.
Fanatics’ partnership with the NHL has evolved over the past two decades to include NHL e-commerce and retail operations, fan apparel and headwear, replica jerseys, licensed memorabilia, performance and training products, on-ice Stanley Cup champions apparel and headwear, and now official on-ice uniforms for players and authentic jerseys for fans.
🎙 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. Our players and fans should look forward to what Fanatics will bring to the best uniforms in all of sports.”
🗣 Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin called this a “seminal moment” in the company’s history and “a testament to the hands-on, collaborative relationship” it has built with the NHL over the years. Rubin added: “I can’t wait to see our brand on official on-ice uniforms for the first time.”
When Fanatics takes over, the company won’t make radical changes, said Doug Mack, CEO of Fanatics Commerce, the merchandise division. It will have a multiyear plan to make gradual, data-driven changes over time, the way it has with products in the past. He added: “We look for evolution, not revolution. We’re not going to change it up just to change it up. “
Feedback from fans has helped guide the design process of replica NHL jerseys, leading to innovations like a more tailored female jersey and foldable crests for easier storage.
🎙 Brian Jennings, NHL senior executive vice president of marketing and chief branding officer, said Fanatics will keep the NHL on the cutting edge: “The vision projecting out two or three years is to really start to look at what innovations we can make in the uniform business, class design and performance for the athlete.”
Fanatics will apply the innovative vertical commerce model it uses for other products to the authentic NHL jerseys, allowing fans to purchase them in real-time when, for example, a team acquires a player.
🔝 It’s impressive what Fanatics has achieved in such a short period. And it appears they will keep growing. Let’s see how the sports apparel giants respond after this historic movement in the sports industry.
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