CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Fanatics, the global leader for licensed sports merchandise, and Tepper Sports & Entertainment (TSE) announced an exclusive, long-term agreement to become the company’s official omnichannel retail partner. Under the new deal, Fanatics will operate both the e-commerce and physical retail experiences at Bank of America Stadium for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and Charlotte’s new MLS expansion franchise.
The teams’ enhanced online and mobile shopping platforms will be driven through Fanatics’ Cloud Commerce Platform (CCP), creating a rapid, seamless experience for fans whether shopping on desktop, phone or tablet, and will feature larger, hi-resolution product displays, frictionless checkout and the largest assortment of real-time products. The new Panthers online store, shop.panthers.com, is currently live and accessible by fans, while e-commerce for TSE’s new MLS expansion team will fall under Fanatics’ operation of MLSShop.com and all of the league’s online team shops.
“We are thrilled to partner with Fanatics to provide a seamless retail experience and a wider variety of products for fans of both the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte MLS franchises,” said Mark Hart, vice president & chief operating officer of Tepper Sports & Entertainment. “Fanatics’ experience in the NFL and MLS provides good synergy across the Tepper Sports & Entertainment platforms and is yet another best-in-class partner for TSE and Bank of America Stadium.”
Fanatics will also oversee operations of all in-venue retail locations throughout Bank of America Stadium for both the Panthers and Charlotte’s expansion MLS team, including the official team store, kiosks and additional concourse shops. The blending of online and offline merchandise will create an omnichannel retail experience for fans on gameday and beyond, with a significantly expanded assortment of readily in-stock products, whether shopping online, via mobile phone or at the game. Additionally, over time the groups’ multi-channel relationship will allow Fanatics to create experiential retail touchpoints throughout the stadium across multiple technology infusions.
“Fanatics is proud to partner with David Tepper and his talented management team, who have a bold, progressive vision for both the Panthers and their new MLS franchise,” said Gary Gertzog, Fanatics President of Business Affairs. “We see an incredible opportunity to significantly elevate the entire end-to-end retail experience for fans through our connected, tech-infused e-commerce and physical retail offerings, which will be on full display regardless of shopping online, on your phone or at the game.”
To celebrate the announcement, the new Panthers’ online store, shop.panthers.com, is offering 30 percent off and free shipping on purchases (some exclusions apply) made today.
Fanatics is the official e-commerce partner of both the NFL and MLS. The Panthers become Fanatics’ 25th NFL partner, nine of which are omnichannel deals, while Carolina’s new MLS team will mark the company’s 14th MLS omnichannel partner upon the brand’s launch on July 22. Fanatics has recently helped launch full e-commerce and in-venue retail operations for MLS expansion teams Inter Miami CF, Nashville SC and Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC).