UK-based golfing body the R&A has announced a new, long-term partnership with global e-commerce and merchandising giant Fanatics.

The wide-ranging deal will see Fanatics take control of physical, event, and digital retail operations for the R&A to grow merchandising revenues for the two major annual competitions it organizes, the Open and the Women’s Open.

Fanatics states it will offer the “widest assortment” of Open and Women’s Open merchandising ever, a range that will include apparel, accessories, lifestyle products, and limited edition collections, which Fanatics also retains the rights to manufacture, market, and sell.

Not only has the merchandising company relaunched the official R&A’s online e-commerce shop in an expanded range of six languages and five currencies, it will also operate the Open’s physical shop in St Andrews, Scotland.

Fanatics is no stranger to the golfing landscape, having already agreed a partnership with the United States Golf Association governing body to run its e-commerce operations as far back as 2016.

The R&A states it is expecting as many as 250,000 spectators to attend the Open in 2024 (which will take place across July 18-21 at the Royal Troon Golf Club). Fanatics will manage retail operations at the event, one of golf’s most prominent spectacles.

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Neil Armit, The R&A’s chief commercial officer, stated of the logic behind the deal: “Fanatics has a renowned reputation and expertise in e-commerce and marketing and so they were the natural choice for a new partnership in which we are aiming to elevate our retail and merchandise offering for the Open and Women’s Open to fans worldwide.”

“We look forward to working with Fanatics in the years to come to bolster fan engagement and usher in a new era for the promotion of our professional championships on a global scale.”

While the Women’s Open is title sponsored by AIG, the men’s event does not have a naming partner. Given its prestige, however, it is still the target for numerous prospective partners that recognize its position as one of golf’s biggest events.

Most recently, the R&A agreed a multi-year deal for private aviation company NetJets to serve as the exclusive official aviation partner of the Open.

In March, the R&A launched a new global streaming service, powered by the Endeavor Streaming platform.