Overwatch League has signed a multi-year merchandising deal with Fanatics. Fanatics, Inc. is an American online retailer of licensed sportswear, sports equipment, and merchandise, formed in 1995 and headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Its partners include leagues such as the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA amongst several others. There is no other company with more experience and more reach when it comes to sports merchandising than Fanatic in the present time. As such Overwatch League’s partnership is a huge step forward for esports as well.
Guess what! We’re gearing up with @Fanatics! ????
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) December 3, 2018
This is also Fanatic’s first foray into esports merchandising. While the sector has seen massive growth over the years, merchandising and generation of revenue source remain an obstacle. With this partnership, the two companies hope to explore and access multiple revenue streams for merchandising and sales.
Esports has been on our radar for some time now and we are incredibly excited to mark our first deal with the best in the world in Activision Blizzard around their incredibly successful Overwatch League. Our omnichannel retail capabilities and real-time vertical manufacturing model will ensure that Overwatch League fans across the globe have unprecedented access to a wide assortment of merchandise to be able to show their passion and pride for the teams and players they love, whether shopping online, on their phone, or at one of many league events.
Ross Tannenbaum, head of special projects for Fanatics.
With multiple sports teams investing in esports directly or indirectly, Fanatics did not want to let go of this opportunity. It is a mutually beneficial agreement as indirectlyBlizzard would definitely want more sales and revenues from the merchandise.
Blizzard hopes to tap into the local support for the Overwatch League teams.
— Fanatics (@Fanatics) December 3, 2018
The Overwatch League does not lack fans, indeed with esports’ growth we are witnessing a surge in the number of gamers. However, converting these fans to a profitable venture has proven to be a difficult task in esports. There are multiple reasons for this including the lack of a strong stadium presence, the inflated salaries amongst other. The Overwatch League is one of the first franchised formal league to induct player benefits as its core value. Blizzard is always in talks with the franchise owners [ who often have lots of experience in developing sports models].
This partnership between Overwatch League and Fanatics will come into effect before the start of Season 2. The Overwatch League season 2 starts on the 14th of February 2019. It has a total of twenty teams for Season 2 with eight new teams joining the League.