· Exclusive omni-channel partnership with the global leader
· Fans benefit from improved choice and quality
Formula 1® is delighted to announce that Fanatics, the global leader in licensed sports merchandise, will become the sport’s exclusive merchandise retail partner at Grand Prix weekends and online from the 2018 season onwards. With the announcement of this partnership, F1 seeks to make a significant step change forward in the growth of its consumer products licensing division, as well as to create a streamlined, omni-channel retail experience for fans buying at the Grand Prix, online and from their phones.
A mobile-first, multi-channel company, Fanatics operates more than 300 online and offline stores, including the e-commerce business for all major American professional sports leagues, (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, MLS, PGA), major media brands (NBC Sports, CBS Sports, FOX Sports) and more than 200 collegiate and professional team properties, which include several of the biggest global football clubs (Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris St. Germain and Manchester City among others.)
Fanatics will elevate the merchandise assortment by offering a wider range of premium products from Formula 1 and the ten teams participating to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, and items specific to each Grand Prix. The company’s innovative vertical manufacturing model and agile supply chain, which has proven successful in North America and is being rolled out across several global markets will put real-time apparel in conjunction with the fast-paced race calendar in the hands of Formula 1 fans across all retail channels faster than ever before.
These products, along with a wide variety of items from other top brands, will all be made available at the majority of the 21 Grand Prix in 2018, starting with the Spanish Grand Prix on May 10-13. The new retail experience will make it easier for fans to purchase souvenirs over the course of the weekend, with additional vending locations around the circuit, as well as the enclosed Superstore location in the Fanzone, with the option to ship purchases home through Formula 1’s Official Logistic Partner, DHL. Premium storefronts will be also introduced for supporters at the Paddock Club. All Fanatics locations will be integrated into F1’s digital concierge app for fans at the circuit, called F1 Grand Prix (available free on Apple and Android app stores.) The agreement also includes an extension of Formula 1’s online store partnership with Fanatics – operated at www.F1Store.Formula1.com.
Fanatics’ omni-channel approach will also offer individual teams and drivers a more streamlined platform to market their merchandise, using the strength of the Formula 1 brand to drive sales across several retail channels throughout the season.
Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1 said:
“We have undergone extensive research at each Grand Prix, which suggests that fans are looking for a more streamlined retail experience. We strongly believe that this partnership will improve the quality of the shopping experience at Grand Prix: enclosed tents, shorter lines, an expanded and improved merchandise range are all priorities for F1 and for Fanatics. The net impact will yield an increase in sales, both for F1 branded products and the teams. Of greater importance, we believe it will drive a lower friction fan experience, and that is our number 1 priority.”
Frank Arthofer, Director, Licensing at Formula 1 said:
“Merchandise and apparel is an untapped growth opportunity for F1. Fanatics is a market leader in delivering premium retail experiences at global sporting events. At F1 races, premium products ranging from team memorabilia to race specific souvenirs that fans cherish will now be available at a more affordable price than ever before.”
Steve Davis, President, Fanatics International, said:
“Formula 1 fans are among the most passionate and tech-savvy spectators in the sports world and we are excited to offer them a new and improved multi-channel retail experience with a significantly expanded assortment of high quality products surrounding Grand Prix events this season. There are few properties in sport with a broader and more global audience, and F1’s fanbase aligns perfectly with many priority growth markets for Fanatics as we become an increasingly international brand.”