Fanatics, the online merchandise and equipment retailer, has added the Brooklyn Nets, of North American basketball’s NBA, and the WNBA’s New York Liberty to its stable of sports partners.
Under an exclusive multi-year partnership with BSE Global, which owns both teams, Fanatics will run retail operations for the Nets and Liberty.
The ecommerce giant will be responsible for operating the online and in-venue stores for the franchises.
BSE Global is owned by billionaire Joe Tsai, who also has strong ecommerce ties as the co-founder of Alibaba.
The Nets had three of the four top-selling jerseys in the NBA last season courtesy of their All-Star trio Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Jams Harden, while the Liberty had the best-selling jersey in the WNBA thanks to Sabrina Ionescu.
Michael Wandell, BSE Global chief commercial officer, said: “Our teams’ ability to transcend the court and permeate culture through music, art and fashion is what differentiates us as a brand.
“In Fanatics, we’ve found a partner that can match our momentum and fuel global growth through our apparel business and retail experience.”
The agreement strengthens Fanatics’ strong presence in the NBA and WNBA as it is also an ecommerce partner of the respective leagues.
The Nets become the 13th NBA team to partner with Fanatics for ecommerce and the seventh to work with the company for in-venue operations.
Fanatics has a strong retail presence across sports and has partnerships with several major properties including American football’s NFL, baseball’s MLB, ice hockey’s NHL, motor racing’s Formula 1 and European soccer giants Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.
Last week, the company was valued at $18 billion after it raised a further $325 million to expand into new sectors.
The Florida-based firm plans to focus on areas outside of merchandising and is seeking to enhance its presence in the gaming and sports betting market with the creation of a new division.
Meanwhile, the Philadephia 76ers have announced a new partnership with Ticketmaster, the prominent online ticket seller.
The long-term deal designates the company as the official ticketing partner of the 76ers and its G League affiliate the Delaware Blue Coats.
76ers fans will be able to buy, sell, transfer and access tickets on Ticketmaster’s website, as well as the 76ers’ digital platforms.
As part of the exclusive partnership, Ticketmaster will receive branding during 76ers home games, including front pole placement, courtside LED and 360 LED.
The firm will present in-game fan contests, provide seat upgrades and other promotions too.
In addition, Ticketmaster will be fully integrated into 76ers digital and social content across all platforms.
The full 2021-22 NBA schedule will be released tomorrow.
Elsewhere, the Houston Rockets have become the fourth NBA team to partner with Socios.com this week in a multi-year agreement.
As an official partner of the Rockets, the blockchain-based fan engagement platform will have signage at the team’s Toyota Center and have a presence on their social media accounts.
This week, Socios has also announced partnerships with the Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic and Sacramento Kings, which added to existing NBA deals with the 76ers, Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers.