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Welsh Rugby bolsters Fanatics portfolio

Ten year deal covers bricks and mortar and online retail, plus merchandise.

The Welsh Rugby Union has touched down with a ten-year deal with Fanatics, which will see the company bolster support experience of WRU’s retail and online stores.

The deal gives Fanatics exclusive rights to operate the re-designed flagship store on Westgate Street in Cardiff, existing concourse units in the stadium and the official online store.

Fanatics will also introduce two new rapid retail units and a mobile retail outlet around Principality Stadium and will have non-exclusive rights to manufacture and sell Welsh Rugby products.

Merchandise will also be sold from each of the four Welsh regions – Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Dragons and Scarlets – in the Westgate Street store.

In addition, Fanatics will sell jerseys and other merchandise relating to visiting teams to Principality Stadium. The first ‘guest’ product on sale will be seen this week with Scotland team apparel being available ahead of the NatWest 6 Nations opening clash.

WRU profits from the sale of merchandise and associated product which incorporate the ‘Pass It Back’ logo are re-invested into the game in Wales.

The deal follows on from the extension of Fanatics’ partnership with England Rugby last September – the existing nine-year partnership was extended for a further eight years until 2025.

WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips said: “Fanatics are an established global operation and we are looking forward to working with them to partner to improve our retail offering, bring in increased revenues for Welsh rugby over the short and long-term, as well as I’m sure gaining significant learning to bring into our broader commercial offering.

“Fanatics share the brand values of Welsh rugby around the world and we aim to maximise our competitiveness in a thriving market place in terms of both quality and range and continue to provide the very best value for money for supporters.”

Ed Boardman, md of Fanatics’ international division, added: “Our mission is to create new and innovative ways for fans of Welsh rugby to connect with their passion.

“Fanatics is committed to providing a best-in-class omni-channel shopping experience for easy access to the largest assortment of officially licensed merchandise and an unparalleled customer service.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the WRU in a partnership that will ultimately benefit the fans and the game at grassroots level.”

Pictured – Dragons and Wales stars Leon Brown (left) and Tyler Morgan, joined by former international and ‘master of ceremonies’ Eddie Butler (right) at the official opening of the newly re-fitted flagship WRU store in Cardiff city centre.

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