The FA has signed a five-year partnership with licensed sports merchandise operator Fanatics.
The partnership grants Fanatics the rights to manufacture official FA merchandise and partner products across a range of categories. Fanatics will also operate the official online England store www.englandstore.com and run all physical retail sites at Wembley Stadium.
Fanatics operates a fast-fashion retail model that makes use of an agile supply chain and on-demand manufacturing to align and tailor merchandise to action and results on the pitch. Having established itself in the US through relationships with rights-holders like the National Football League and the National Basketball Association, the company recently established offices in Spain, Germany and Japan to forge relationships with international rights-holders.
In the last two months the company has announced new partnerships with the German FA (DFB) and Chelsea FC, and already partners with major football clubs across Europe including Everton, Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid.
“The Football Association is an iconic governing body with a rich history,” said Steve Davis, president of Fanatics International. “The encouraging performance of the England Men’s senior team at the World Cup this summer and the resulting feel-good factor felt by their fans around the world demonstrated that there is a strong bond between England and their supporters. We are determined to help fans feel closer to the team than ever before by improving the offering available to England supporters, including a wide range of merchandise that will be easy for fans to access, be that through the online store, through retail sites at Wembley or on the high street.
“We are significantly growing our global capabilities, with manufacturing and distribution centres around the world and no matter where England fans are, they will be able to buy the latest official England products and merchandise to show their support for their nation.”
Dan Kiddle, head of commercial partnerships at the FA: “Fanatics will transform the FA’s ability to service the shopping demands of England fans all over the world. With access to an unrivalled suite of e-commerce technology and world-class pedigree in delivery to match, we are very excited by our partnership with Fanatics and look forward to rolling out a much-improved retail offering.”