Fanatics has signed an exclusive partnership with the owner of the Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty, which will see the ecommerce giant run the online and in-venue stores for both basketball teams.
It’s a multi-year deal between Fanatics and BSE Global, which is owned by billionaire Joe Tsai. Tsai has deep ecommerce experience of his own, as vice chairman and co-founder of Alibaba.
Fanatics takes over at a popular moment for both teams. The Nets had three of the four top-selling NBA jerseys last seasons (Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden), and Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu is the top-selling WNBA player. The partnership will widen the selection of available products and give both teams more flexibility for on-demand city-centric merchandise strategies.
“Our teams’ ability to transcend the court and permeate culture through music, art and fashion is what differentiates us as a brand,” BSE Global chief commercial officer Michael Wandell said in a statement. “In Fanatics we’ve found a partner that can match our momentum and fuel global growth through our apparel business and retail experience.”
Ecommerce and merchandise is the core business for Fanatics, which is now branching out into other verticals, starting with a series of high-profile hires. Fanatics recently launched an NFT company and is seeking a New York gaming license under the name Fanatics Sportsbook. Ticketing and media endeavors could follow.
Last week the company raised $325 million at an $18 billion valuation, roughly triple its valuation from just last year. Its investors include Silver Lake, SoftBank, Jay-Z, and a series of major U.S. leagues, including the NFL, MLB and MLS.
Fanatics is already the official ecommerce partner for the NBA and WNBA. The Nets are the 13th NBA team to partner with Fanatics for ecommerce and the seventh to also work with the company for in-venue operations.