Walmart is getting into the sports merchandise game in a big way with a new long-term partnership with online retailer Fanatics.
The two have teamed up to sell officially licensed sports apparel and other fan gear through Walmart’s online site. The Fan Shop by Fanatics stocks hundreds of thousands of items featuring professional sports leagues, such as the NBA, NFL, MLB, NASCAR and MLS.
The selection includes T-shirts, jerseys, hats, collectibles, bedding and other novelty products from brands such as Nike, New Era, Majestic and Fanatics. In addition to team gear, the shop will carry exclusive merchandise for major sports events, among them the recent NFL Conference Championships and this weekend’s Super Bowl match-up between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams.
“We offer more than 75 million items on Walmart.com. And as we continue to grow our assortment, we are also focused on adding harder-to-find specialty items. Our partnership with Fanatics is part of this ongoing commitment to create unique, specialized experiences on Walmart.com that make it easier to find the items our customers — in this case, sports fans — are looking for,” said Eric O’Toole, GM of sports and fitness for Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce division.
The Fanatics deal is Walmart’s latest jab at rival Amazon as the two battle for online dominance. The Arkansas-based discount retailer continues to ramp up its e-commerce efforts and broaden its online assortment with unique and exclusive offerings. Most recently, Walmart partnered with Lord & Taylor to bring premium fashion merchandise to its site.
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