The Overwatch League announced a multi-year deal with Fanatics, the global leader for licensed sports merchandise, which will provide the Overwatch League fanbase with an omnichannel retail experience along with a significantly expanded assortment of products.
The agreement marks the first-ever foray into the rapidly expanding global esports industry for Fanatics and is the first of its kind between a major retailer and an official esports league.
“Our collaboration with Fanatics—the first between a major esports league and a global sports merchandising company—allows us to reach even more fans and to provide them with high-quality merchandise and a best-in-class retail experience where they can shop for all our great Overwatch League gear,” said Brandon Snow, chief revenue officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues.
The deal is highlighted by Fanatics securing the U.S. and international rights to produce Overwatch League jerseys, fan gear, headwear, and hard goods sold across all retail and wholesale channels.
As per the association, both parties also will work collaboratively to identify and secure additional world-class companies to grow the overall assortment of high-quality products available to fans. In addition, Fanatics will establish new global e-commerce and mobile shopping platform and operate on-site retail for all league events.
Fanatics utilizing an innovative vertical manufacturing model, combining extensive licensing rights with on-demand manufacturing and an agile supply chain will design and quickly distribute high-quality Overwatch League fan gear across all categories, including merchandise for league events and championships.
“A significant number of fans for regular-season matches at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and at the Grand Finals in Brooklyn showed up in jerseys to support their teams, and we’re thrilled to make it even easier for them to represent their favorite teams and players,” said Daniel Siegel, head of esports licensing for Blizzard Entertainment.
The agreement between the Overwatch League and Fanatics will be implemented before the start of the 2019 Overwatch League season, which kicks off on February 14.
Overwatch League gear will be available on a dedicated e-store and on select sites across Fanatics’ global network. The new online storefronts will be the first to sell gear for the Overwatch League’s new expansion teams.