The Overwatch League has a new merch partner in Fanatics, an uncontested leader in fan sports apparel. Fanatics, established in 1995, is the current operator of the e-commerce sites of all major professional sports leagues. The Overwatch League takes a large step with the deal, now in the same conversation as the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, amongst many others, in regards to widespread and accessible online merchandise. “Our collaboration with Fanatics—the first between a major esports league and a global sports merchandising company—allows us to reach even more fans and to provide them with high-quality merchandise and a best-in-class retail experience where they can shop for all our great Overwatch League gear,” says Brandon Snow, chief revenue officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, in a press release from Fanatics.
— Fanatics (@Fanatics) December 3, 2018
The new partnership, which kicks off before the start of the new Overwatch League season on February 14, will be the first chance for fans of the expansion teams to snag some merch. New online global storefronts will offer “jerseys, fan gear, headwear, and hard goods” for the Atlanta Reign, Toronto Defiant, Paris Eternal, Guangzhou Charge, Chengdu Hunters, Hangzhou Spark, Vancouver Titans, and newly announced Washington Justice, as well as the existing Overwatch League teams. As of now, there is no set date for the unveiling of the new merch sites.
The agreement between Fanatics and the Overwatch League marks Fanatics’ first venture into the world of esports and the first of its kind between an official esports league and a major fan merchandise retailer. While Fanatics already has relationships with popular brand merchandise producers such as Adidas, Under Armour, Nike, and Reebok, it is unclear which brands will be tasked with creating the official merch. According to the press release, both Fanatics and Overwatch League “will work collaboratively to identify and secure additional world-class companies to grow the overall assortment of high-quality products.” More details regarding the official launch will be unveiled at a later date, so keep an eye on the both the Overwatch League and Fanatics sites.