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Fanatics strikes retail partnership with Carolina Panthers, MLS Charlotte

Global licensed sports merchandise manufacturer and retailer Fanatics has signed a long-term deal to become the official omnichannel retail partner of Tepper Sports & Entertainment (TSE).

As part of the deal, Fanatics will operate both the ecommerce and physical retail experiences at Bank of America Stadium for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and Charlotte’s new MLS expansion franchise. The length and terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A new Panthers online store has been created, while ecommerce for TSE’s new MLS expansion team will fall under Fanatics’ operation of MLSShop.com and all of the league’s online team shops.

Fanatics will also oversee operations of all in-venue retail locations throughout Bank of America Stadium for both the Panthers and MLS Charlotte, including the official team store, kiosks and additional concourse shops.

Over time, the groups’ multichannel relationship will allow Fanatics to create experiential retail touchpoints throughout the stadium across multiple technology infusions.

“We are thrilled to partner with Fanatics to provide a seamless retail experience and a wider variety of products for fans of both the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte MLS franchises,” said TSE vice president and chief operating officer Mark Hart. “Fanatics’ experience in the NFL and MLS provides good synergy across the Tepper Sports & Entertainment platforms and is yet another best-in-class partner for TSE and Bank of America Stadium.”

The Panthers become Fanatics’ 25th NFL partner, nine of which are omnichannel deals, while MLS Charlotte will mark the company’s 14th in the league.

MLS Charlotte, which will begin play next year, is expected to announce its team name and colors on July 22. Tepper landed expansion rights for the franchise late last year.