Advanced Degree: Fanatics Acquires Fermata's Colleges Business, Creates New Division
Fanatics is expanding the college segment of its e-commerce empire with the creation of a new division -- Fanatics College -- and the acquisition of collegiate licensing agency Fermata Partners. Derek Eiler and Chris Prindiville, two of the four founding partners of Fermata, will join Fanatics College and lead the startup of the new division along with Fanatics Senior VP/Business Development Brian Swallow. Fanatics’ acquisition includes just the collegiate licensing portion of Fermata, which is owned by CAA Sports. Fermata’s collegiate licensing business, which has the rights to seven schools, will operate as a separate division of Fanatics from its Atlanta base. The other part of Fermata, which owns licensing rights for a variety of sports brands -- including the PGA Tour, Kentucky Derby and a dozen EPL clubs -- will stay with CAA Sports under the guidance of Kit Walsh and Scott Bouyack. Within Fanatics College, Eiler will be Exec VP and Prindiville will be Senior VP. Eiler will report to Fanatics Chief Commercial Officer Cole Gahagan. They will be charged with building a college vertical similar to what Fanatics has done in several pro leagues, where Fanatics designs and manufactures the items, markets them and sells them. Gahagan in a tweet this morning wrote, "We couldn't be more thrilled to welcome @DerekEiler and the Fermata family into ours. Exciting times ahead..."