Acquisition of Kitbag Accelerates Fanatics’ Soccer Business and Global Expansion
SILICON VALLEY, CA – February 2, 2016 – Fanatics, Inc., the leading provider of officially licensed sports merchandise, today announced it has completed the acquisition of Kitbag, a UK-based international sports eCommerce company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Findel plc. This acquisition represents an important foundation for continued investment by Fanatics to grow the licensed sports merchandise business both in soccer and across all sports globally.
A multi-channel company across the UK, Europe and international markets, Kitbag runs its own site (kitbag.com) and also operates the online and retail business for more than 25 partners across European soccer, motorsports, rugby, tennis and golf. Kitbag’s relationships with top sports brands include Manchester United, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, Everton, Leicester Tigers, Borussia Dortmund, French Open at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Formula 1.
Kitbag also operates the eCommerce businesses for the NFL, NBA and NHL in Europe, which is synergistic with Fanatics’ long-term partnerships with all major North America sports leagues. Kitbag also adds to Fanatics’ leadership in the world of event and in-venue retail, bringing their expertise to leading sports venues, including Manchester City and Everton, and events such as the Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup.
“We could not be more excited to work with the Kitbag team to build upon their multi-channel capabilities, expertise in soccer and strong portfolio of partners to accelerate both our U.S. and international growth,” said Doug Mack, CEO of Fanatics. “Fanatics and Kitbag are a nearly perfect complement, creating a complete platform for sports fans, leagues, teams and manufacturers globally, which will grow the licensed sports industry.”
The many synergies between the two companies provides instant advantages to fans, leagues, teams and sports brands worldwide, including:
- Global fulfillment and fan service infrastructure
- The broadest joint assortment of licensed sports merchandise globally
- Leveraging web, mobile and technology best practices across all sites and partners
- In-venue and event retail innovation
- Unique ability to serve the rising popularity of both North American sports and European soccer with fans around the world.
“Kitbag and Fanatics are complementary businesses.Fanatics’ focus has been to grow and develop business in North America, while the majority of Kitbag’s presence is in Europe and the rest of the world,” said Andy Anson, CEO of Kitbag. “As a consequence, the globalization of all the major sports we serve together creates significant opportunities for future growth and expansion.”
Fanatics is the market leader for officially licensed sports merchandise and provides the ultimate shopping experience to sports fans. With excess of $1 billion in sales annually, Fanatics is a top 50 Internet Retailer Company that comprises the broadest online assortment of officially licensed items via its Fanatics (fanatics.com) and FansEdge (www.fansedge.com) brands, as well as the largest selection of sports collectibles and memorabilia through Fanatics Authentic (www.fanaticsauthentic.com). A multi-channel company, Fanatics operates more than 300 online and offline stores, including the e-commerce business for all major professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, PGA), major media brands (NBC Sports, CBS Sports, FOX Sports) and more than 150 collegiate and professional team properties. The company’s in-venue and event retail portfolio includes the NBA, NHL, NASCAR, Texas Longhorns, LSU Tigers, Arizona Coyotes and New Jersey Devils, allowing fans to experience a seamless shopping experience across online, mobile and physical store locations.
Kitbag is a specialist multi-channel sports retail services provider, offering sports fans the broadest range of products through both its own e-commerce store (www.kitbag.com) and over 25 e-commerce stores operated for the world’s leading sports brands. Kitbag’s commercial partners include: Chelsea, Everton, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Wimbledon, The RFU, Tour de France, The NBA, The NFL and Formula1. Kitbag operates stadium retail stores and city centre stores for leading football and rugby clubs and has developed a presence as a leader in the world of event retail, providing comprehensive and innovative event retail solutions for global events including the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup. Kitbag generates in excess of $100 million of revenue per annum.