Fanatics, the digital sports platform and e-commerce giant, has partnered with e-commerce Rakuten to launch its first online marketplace in Japan.
The parties will collaborate to open a store on Rakuten Ichiba which will offer Fanatics’ range of licensed sports merchandise.
The outlet will feature more than 10,000 officially licensed products from across Fanatics’ partner roster of top leagues and sporting organizations, such as MLB (baseball), NBA (basketball), NFL (American football), NHL (ice hockey), and major European club and international soccer teams.
The Fanatics Official Store on Rakuten Ichiba will allow fans to order directly from Fanatics’ US fulfillment centers. The e-commerce heavyweight also plans to expand its available range to over 50,000 products in time.
This deal is the latest in a long line of similar partnerships for Fanatics with retailers around the world, such as with the likes of UK-based Next, which marked the company’s first connected inventory partnership in Europe, Foot Locker, Walmart, Kohls, and Nordstrom.
Masanori Kawana, managing director of Fanatics in East Asia, said: “We are always looking for ways to better serve sports fans across Japan, who are renowned for their passion and pride. Launching our first marketplace store for fans in Japan on Rakuten Ichiba was, therefore, a natural fit for us, due to Rakuten’s existing partnerships with a host of major sporting names such as the NBA, as well as its reputation as Japan’s leading online marketplace.
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“By partnering with Fanatics in this way, retailers are able to expand into entirely new markets while mitigating a great deal of the risk that would usually come with such a move, leveraging Fanatics’ industry expertise and experience in order to place thousands of licensed sports products – quite literally – at their customers’ fingertips. It has been a pleasure to work with Rakuten so far and we look forward to building on our collective offering to fans in the months and years to come.”
Fanatics recently agreed its first league-wide European soccer deal with Spain’s top-flight LaLiga.
The company has more than 900 sports partnerships around the world with its portfolio featuring soccer giants Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, and Atletico Madrid, The English FA, UEFA, French Football Federation, and motor racing’s Formula 1.