Licensed sports merchandise giant Fanatics Inc has announced the creation of Fanatics College, its new collegiate sports licensing division.
The new unit of the Florida-based firm will exclusively provide e-commerce, stadium retail operations and brand management services to universities across the United States.
Its formation comes after Fanatics acquired the collegiate licensing services practice of Atlanta-based Fermata Partners, which was founded in 2012 and acquired by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in 2015.
Following the acquisition, Fermata co-founders Derek Eiler and Chris Prindiville will lead Fanatics College, assisted by an existing team of Fanatics executives that includes college merchandise and branding experts such as Brian Swallow, who helped establish the company’s first e-commerce platform for universities in the early 2000s.
Meanwhile the Fermata team that oversees its college licensing business will remain in Atlanta, operating as a separate division within the wider Fanatics business.
A Fanatics statement said the new division will ‘provide partners with a better, more sophisticated way to connect directly with their fan bases and alumni through a broader, more-timely merchandise assortment that fulfills the growing, real-time demand of consumers.’
“The acquisition of Fermata’s collegiate licensing business strategically aligns with our focus towards delivering leading-edge technology, robust data, omni-channel retail services and deepened licensing capabilities to university partners,” said Fanatics chief commercial officer Cole Gahagan.
“The agile creation and distribution of high quality collegiate merchandise, coupled with our standalone ability to help universities manage their brands and connect more directly with their fans, presents our partners with the best possible set of solutions to help them grow their business.”