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August 30, 2022

MLB’s Baltimore Orioles sign 10-year retail partnership with Fanatics

Fanatics will operate the team’s on-site merchandise outlets at Orioles Park.

By Susan Lingeswaran

Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Baltimore Orioles have expanded their partnership with sportswear and equipment retailer Fanatics after striking a 10-year end-to-end omnichannel retail deal.

The deal will see Fanatics operate the team’s on-site merchandise outlets at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, including the ballpark’s Orioles Team Store, while continuing to manage the team’s online and mobile commerce business.

As part of the deal, the Orioles Team Store will now feature an expanded section of jerseys, headwear, hardgoods, trading cards, collectibles, and more from brands including Fanatics, Nike, Topps, New Era, WinCraft, and Mitchell & Ness.

T.J. Brightman, the Orioles' chief revenue officer, said: “We are thrilled about our new alignment with Fanatics to bring a more expansive and diverse inventory of the top brands that our fans will love when visiting Oriole Park.

“There is nothing more important to us than the fan experience, and we truly believe this long-term partnership will only enhance that.”

Fanatics is the official e-commerce partner of the MLB, powering e-commerce for all 30 of its teams, and is also the league’s trading card partner.

Along with the Orioles, it operates in-venue retail services for five other teams.

Fanatics is a significant presence in sporting merchandise, claiming to have over 300 partners, suppliers, and vendors in 11 countries.

In April, the NFL was the largest investor in Fanatics’ latest $1.5 billion funding round, taking its overall investment into the company to $320 million, with the company now valued at $27 billion.

Among its recent retail moves have been the launch of an online Olympics store for the International Olympics Committee, the opening of club stores for Paris Saint-Germain in New York and the NBA in Paris, and partnerships with the World Wrestling Entertainment promotion, English soccer’s Aston Villa, and MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports.

Last week, it entered a connected inventory partnership with US sports retail chain Foot Locker that will see “thousands” of its products available to Foot Locker customers starting from the US fall (September to November).

Earlier this month, it also extended and expanded its end-to-end omnichannel retail partnership with the NFL’s Detroit Lions, which will see it operate the franchise’s in-venue retail locations at Ford Field stadium.

Ed O’Brien, Fanatics senior vice president of business development and strategy, said: “The Baltimore Orioles are one of baseball’s iconic franchises, who have emerged again this year as one of MLB’s most exciting teams.

“Throughout this partnership, we look forward to delivering a best-in-class in-venue retail experience at a historic ballpark like Oriole Park at Camden Yards and providing the passionate Orioles fan base with timely, high-quality merchandise for all members of the family.”

The 2022 MLB season started on April 7 and will finish on October 5.

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