WWE has entered into a major new business partnership with sports platform Fanatics.
WWE and Fanatics announced on Monday that the two companies have agreed to a "comprehensive, long-term sports and entertainment partnership" that ranges across multiple businesses. Those businesses include e-commerce, licensed merchandise, and trading cards/NFTs
The deal includes Fanatics introducing a new version of WWE Shop this summer:
As part of the agreement, this summer Fanatics will exclusively re-introduce a new, rapid e-commerce and mobile destination, WWE Shop, giving fans around the world access to a leading assortment of WWE merchandise across all categories, including apparel, hard goods, such as title belts, headwear, accessories and more. Fanatics will work closely and collaboratively with the talented teams at WWE who have significantly grown this business in-house for decades, and the company will also add rights to design, manufacture and distribute real-time, on-demand merchandise collections to celebrate unpredictable WWE moments and new and emerging Superstars.
Also as part of the deal, Fanatics Collectibles will become the exclusive provider of licensed WWE physical and digital trading cards, That portion of the deal will go into effect when WWE's existing trading cards partnership with The Panini Group expires over the next few years:
Fanatics Collectibles, the company’s trading cards and collectibles division, will also become the exclusive provider of licensed WWE physical and digital trading cards, which will once again bear the nostalgic Topps logo. Fanatics acquired the legendary 70-year-old Topps brand earlier this year, which previously held a long-term relationship with WWE. That deal will commence when WWE’s existing trading cards rights expire over the next few years.
Fanatics' Candy Digital is also set to become one of WWE's primary NFT partners later this year:
Also under the pact, later this year Fanatics’ next generation digital collectibles company, Candy Digital, will become one of WWE’s primary NFT partners. Candy’s team of world-class digital artists, designers, and technologists will curate and build a full range of high-quality trading card NFTs featuring WWE’s biggest moments and stars.
“WWE is one of the most widely admired sports and entertainment properties worldwide, and it made perfect sense to activate many parts of our Fanatics global platform to create a first-of-its-kind, all-in fan experience,” Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said. “From e-commerce and licensed merchandise to trading cards and more, we’re going to offer up an incredible set of capabilities to help WWE’s passionate fans worldwide celebrate their favorite Superstars, marquee events and the WWE brand overall.”
“Fanatics is the industry leader and Michael Rubin is a visionary,” WWE's Vince McMahon said. “We believe this multi-platform partnership will set a new standard for WWE e-commerce, apparel and merchandise, while providing our fans globally with more ways than ever to engage with WWE and our Superstars.”