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New era for England Rugby merchandising

New Fanatics deal adds product licensing rights to expand assortment and better serve real-time demand of fans.

England Rugby is heralding a new era for its omni-channel official merchandise operation, extending its partnership with licensed sports merchandise specialist, Fanatics.

The deal means that the existing nine-year partnership has been extended by a further eight years until 2025.

Starting with this year’s Old Mutual Wealth Series matches in November, a new retail store at the heart of the ‘West Fan Village’ will support the existing South Stand store on match days. In addition, a series of strategically placed mobile retail outlets around the Twickenham Stadium will provide increased convenience and help ease congestion for fans seeking official merchandise.

Following the Old Mutual Wealth Series, Fanatics will implement a full re-fit at Twickenham’s South Stand Store in time for the Six Nations Championship in February 2018.

Fanatics has also been granted rights to design, manufacture and distribute official RFU products.

It will also continue to manage England Rugby’s official online store.

Commenting on the extended partnership, Simon Massie-Taylor, RFU chief commercial officer, said: “This is a new chapter for England Rugby’s merchandise operation and particularly for the stadium’s retail programme.

“Fanatics has strong credentials as a world-renowned merchandising specialist and already operates the retail business for a series of high-profile sporting brands. We’re looking forward to this extended partnership and to further developing our retail operation under their leadership and guidance.”

Fanatics’ business development director, Danny Downs, added: “In the last nine years, we’ve established an excellent working relationship with England Rugby through our e-commerce partnership.

“We can now build on that success with additional retail options at the stadium and in-house product creation.

“The agreement means we can work even closer to supplement our e-commerce provision with a full vertical solution that offers a greater stadium experience and provides wider product choice and quality across all platforms on an on-demand basis.”

The new partnership further strengthens Fanatics’ growing portfolio of globally recognised league and team partnerships across the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS and European football leagues. It also operates e-commerce and event retail on behalf of football clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid, along with sports marques such as Wimbledon, the Ryder Cup, F1 and NASCAR.

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