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Fanatics makes esports move

Sports merchandising specialist secures partnership with the Overwatch league.

Fanatics is making the move into the burgeoning esports space – securing a multi-year deal to create merchandise for the Overwatch League.

The deal – which is a first of its kind partnership between a major retailer and an official esports league – begins ahead of the 2019 Overwatch League season, which starts on February 14.

Fanatics International will produce Overwatch League jerseys, fan gear, headwear and hard goods.

It is also aiming to establish new global e-commerce and mobile shopping platforms, as well as operate on-site retail for all league events.

“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,” said Brandon Snow, chief revenue officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “Fanatics has a proven track record of success with major sports brands and we’re excited to work with them in expanding this part of our business.”

Daniel Siegel, head of esports licensing for Blizzard Entertainment, added: “The demand for team gear during our inaugural season was very strong. A significant number of fans – for regular-season matches at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and at the Grand Finals in Brooklyn – showed up in jerseys to support their teams, and we’re thrilled to make it even easier for them to represent their favorite teams and players.”

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