The Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx, of North American basketball’s NBA and WNBA, respectively, have announced a long-term retail partnership with digital sports platform and e-commerce giant Fanatics.
As part of the deals, Fanatics will take control of the official e-commerce business for both teams as their end-to-end retail partner and will operate the in-venue retail touchpoints on gamedays at Target Center, the home venue of both teams.
The partnership involves the creation of e-commerce websites powered by Fanatics’ in-house Cloud Commerce Platform, with both websites now live.
In addition to the provision of its e-commerce services, Fanatics will also invest capital to redesign the Target Center’s in-venue shopping services, including its team stores, kiosks, and additional concourse shops.
This will include the opening of two new in-arena team stores which will stock brands such as Fanatics, NIKE, Mitchell & Ness, and WinCraft.
Ryan Tanke, the chief operating officer of the Timberwolves and Lynx, said: “As we continue to elevate the gameday experience at Target Center and provide best-in-class service for our fans on-site and online, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Fanatics as our new end-to-end retail partner.
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“With this new agreement, our fans will enjoy two new team stores and have easier access and greater variety as it relates to purchasing Timberwolves and Lynx merchandise while enhancing their ability to feel like a valuable member of the Pack.”
Ed O’Brien, Fanatics senior vice president of business development, added: “Fanatics is incredibly excited to partner with the Timberwolves and Lynx to provide the widest assortment of team merchandise for fans of Minnesota basketball everywhere.
“Through our leading assortment of brands, tech capabilities, and physical retail expertise, we look forward to improving the fan experience for both teams on gamedays and beyond.”
Fanatics is also the official e-commerce partner of the NBA and WNBA, with the Timberwolves being Fanatics’ eleventh NBA e-commerce partner.
The Timberwolves and Lynx also join fellow Minneapolis-based sports teams the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and University of Minnesota Athletics who also have deals with Fanatics.
The digital sports platform and e-commerce giant also recently expanded its presence in Japan by partnering with four more sports teams.
The company today announced new long-term tie-ups with Kashima Antlers, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, and V-Varen Nagasaki, which takes the number of top-tier Japanese J.League soccer clubs in the Fanatics stable to five.
They are joined by the Nagasaki Velca basketball team, and in total 11 sports clubs across Japan now have partnerships with the major retailer.