The store, a collaboration with partner Fanatics, is the first of many that the pair are hoping to open in PSG’s most important international cities. Located in the Westfield Century City mall, it will make PSG the first European soccer team with a permanent retail shop in the U.S., according to the official announcement.
As Europe’s top clubs confront saturation in their home markets, they are looking further afield for new fans and fresh commercial opportunities. The two biggest growth areas, according to most, are China and the U.S. While America lacks China’s population, it has the world’s most developed media market and a robust sports marketing infrastructure.
International markets now represent 86% of PSG’s business, according to Fabien Allegre, the club’s brand diversification director, and North America is PSG’s second-largest market.
“We are just beginning a new era of growth and development,” Allegre said.
The world’s largest seller of licensed sports apparel, Fanatics will bring in Lids (of which it owns a minority stake) to operate the store. The financial arrangement between the groups was not detailed in the announcement.
PSG was purchased a decade ago by Qatar Sports Investments, a subsidiary of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. Since then, the group has used its deep pockets to build one of international sports’ most popular and recognizable brands. With stars like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, the team made the Champions League finals last year, and the semifinals this season.
The club’s ascent has accompanied a push to grow revenue beyond France, including new international offices in Doha, Singapore and Shanghai. In the U.S. it has 14 official fan clubs, and six academy sites, including one in Los Angeles. The team has also toured the U.S. for training and friendly games.
The retail shop is part of the 10-year retail and merchandising deal that PSG and Fanatics signed last year. A significant portion of the product in the store will be Nike and its Jordan Brand, but it will also feature fashion collaborations and L.A.-inspired items only available at that location.