Fukuoka Softbank HAWKS and Fanatics Announce Innovative new Partnership

TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 11, 2018) – Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS is proud to announce an innovative and groundbreaking new partnership with Fanatics, the global leader in licensed sports merchandise.

The new long-term strategic partnership, which will run for 10 years from March 2019, is the first for Fanatics in Asia and will provide fans of the 2017 NPB Japan Series Champions with a greater range of products executed through Fanatics’ transformative vertical manufacturing model for the sports merchandise industry.

Fanatics, who have operations based in Tokyo, Hong Kong and in a further seven countries around the world, will work with the SoftBank HAWKS to produce and distribute product to their fans wherever they might be, however they want to order it and whenever they want it to be delivered.

This innovative vertical model combines a world-class technology platform with an agile supply chain and on-demand manufacturing to create the broadest and most responsive assortment of high-quality merchandise. In the fast changing and often unpredictable world of sport, it will allow the SoftBank HAWKS the flexibility to tailor their retail offering with the action and results on the field.

Fanatics, who partners with some of the world’s biggest sporting organizations including the MLB, NFL, NBA, Manchester United and Real Madrid, will create a streamlined omnichannel shopping experience, including a new e-commerce and mobile platforms and operation of team stores inside the Fukuoka Dome. In addition to fan gear and apparel, Fanatics will also design, manufacture and deliver the on-field jerseys for the players and the replica jerseys for the fans, with the ability to produce and deliver items faster than ever before.

Commenting on the partnership, President & Owner’s Representative of Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS, Yoshimitsu Goto, says: “I am very pleased to announce this significant partnership, the first club in Asia to partner with Fanatics, the world leaders in sports merchandise. We will be able to provide a variety of original goods and surprises for our fans merging the world’s best shopping service of Fanatics and our 80 years’ experience and knowledge in sports business.”

“We hope to cooperate with each other aiming for services that satisfy all sports fans, and to continue to further evolve the sports merchandise business.”

Managing Director of Fanatics Japan, Masanori Kawana, said: “We are very happy to have the Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS as our first official partner in Asia, utilizing Fanatics’ full set of vertical manufacturing capabilities. They are a fantastic organization to partner with and they realise the potential benefits to both their fans and the club in creating this omnichannel partnership.”

“In a fast-moving society, with needs of fans changing quickly, we believe we can provide unrivalled experience to HAWKS’ fans, fully leveraging Fanatics’ expertise and technology in production, logistics, eCommerce and retail.”