Shimizu S-Pulse become first J.League club to sign with Fanatics in 10-year strategic partnership

TOKYO, 2 DEC 2020 – Shimizu S-Pulse and Fanatics, the global leader in licensed sports merchandise, have signed a 10-year strategic partnership that will see the J. League club become the first football club in Asia to sign up to Fanatics’ innovative vertical commerce model.

The new partnership sees a coming together of the one of the founding members of the J. League and one of the world’s most dynamic sport and technology companies, to provide S-Pulse fans with the most comprehensive array of merchandise ever offered by a football club in Asia.

S-Pulse fans will benefit from the club partnering with a company that works with many of the biggest sporting organisations in the world. Fanatics, which has offices and distribution centers in eleven countries, partners with many of the most recognized and successful global organizations, including NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, England Rugby, Ryder Cup and Formula One.

Fanatics has an increasing presence in Japan, with the company also partnering with a number of Japanese baseball clubs, including the recently crowned Japan Series Champions, the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, which won its fourth Championship in a row last month.

Speaking about the announcement, Shinya Yamamuro, President and CEO of Shimizu S-Pulse, said: “We are very pleased to be able to sit alongside major sports teams in the United States and Europe and partner with Fanatics, which has achieved great results. We believe that collaboration with this company, a group of sports marketing and technology professionals, will be a major turning point for our club merchandising.

“I believe that fans and supporters will be delighted with the increase in choice and availability we will offer by utilizing the Fanatics supply capacity, commercial distribution and global knowledge.  It will make a great contribution to us as a business, which in turn will lead to an improvement in team strength.”

Masanori Kawana, Managing Director of East Asia at Fanatics, said: “We are very honored to announce our partnership with Shimizu S-Pulse who are well known as the one of the most traditional clubs in Japan. We partner with big clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Bayern Munich, who won this year’s UEFA Champions League and many clubs in the United States. However, this initiative with S-Pulse will be the first collaboration with a soccer club in Asia and we are incredibly happy to begin this partnership with them.”