Fanatics, one of the world’s leading licensed sports apparel suppliers, will begin manufacturing and designing jerseys for NHL players beginning in the 2024-25 season.This is the latest expansion in their growing uniform business.
Fanatics will replace Adidas, which has been manufacturing player jerseys since 2017. Fanatics already manufactures all NHL Replica His jerseys for fans to purchase, as well as Training His gear that players and coaches wear during practices and games. As part of a licensing and sponsorship deal with the NHL, the company’s ‘F’ logo will appear on the back of a player’s jersey for the first time.
Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said:
Adidas announced in July that it would not extend its contract as the league’s uniform and apparel supplier beyond the 2023-24 season.
Fanatics began making Major League Baseball player uniforms after acquiring Majestic in 2017. In both cases, Nike is the official sponsor, so its Swoosh logo is on the uniform.
Hockey is a growing category for fanatics. Rubin said his company, which is privately held and sells hockey jerseys and other equipment to fans for about $150 million a year, closed his NHL deal about 15 years ago. That’s up from about $10 million when we started. Now, in addition to fan jerseys, Fanatics produces tens of thousands of jerseys. All player jerseys made in Canada each year as part of new 10-year deal with NHL
“This is a logical evolution of what we’ve been doing for the last 15 years,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Fanatics also operates merchandise shops in several NHL arenas, as well as the league’s flagship store in Manhattan, where it manufactures the caps and shirts players wear after winning the Stanley Cup. increase.
Known primarily for e-commerce sales, Fanatics currently produces about half of its sales. Most of its capacity has been acquired through acquisitions of companies such as Majestic and Mitchell & Ness. Mitchell & Ness manufactures vintage and throwback team his apparel. Rubin said the company’s merchandise business is expected to generate about $6 billion this year, more than 80% of which is sold directly to consumers online or through the company’s roughly 2,000 stores.
Fanatics’ memorabilia and collectibles department also works with Auston Matthews, Alex Ovechkin, Igor Shesterkin, Nathan MacKinnon and other NHL stars.
“Fanatics is now approaching a $10 billion company, and the cost of exposure will be a big boon to shareholders,” said Rubin of using the company’s logo on the back of NHL uniforms. .
Throughout the 1990s, most major sports leagues and their teams contracted with multiple suppliers to manufacture and sell their licensed merchandise. In the last 10 or 20 years, the league has come to work with just his one company to standardize production and distribution. Reebok was his exclusive NHL gear supplier until Adidas bought it. NHL contracts tend to last longer than other league contracts, says founder and editor Paul Lucas. uniwatcha website dedicated to uniforms, logos and related issues.
CCM was the exclusive uniform provider from 2000-1 to 2003-4. Reebok made uniforms for the league from the 2005-6 season to the 2016-17 season before Adidas took over.
Many hockey fans appreciate brands such as CCM, Bauer and Koho. These brands “have a longer history and greater prestige than their counterparts in other sports,” he said, Lukas.
But hockey fans are also critical of newcomers, including the Fanatics.
Chris Creamer, founder and editor of Sports Logos.nethaving a single company design uniforms for all teams “can create a template-like look. It would be hard to avoid design duplication.”
But he said sports fans in general don’t like change. “They want to curse what they grew up with, everyone, and their opinions,” Creamer said. In hockey, we love to romanticize the past.”
Fanatics said that when it took over manufacturing replica jerseys in 2017, it fine-tuned the design after talking to fans. One of the changes, he said, is making the shield in the middle of the jersey more flexible, making it easier to fold and easier to wash. Fanatics also said it will investigate players and equipment managers when it takes over jersey production in another year.