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Volume 22 No. 35
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Fanatics gets Warriors’ merchandising rights

As part of the 10-year agreement, the company will operate a “Warriors Shop” near Chase Center, arena retail space and three local stores.
Photo: fanatics

Continuing to expand its already dominant retail presence across sports licensing, Fanatics has snagged a 10-year merchandising rights deal with the Golden State Warriors. As part of the deal, Fanatics will run a 10,000-square-foot “Warriors Shop” team store just outside the soon-to-open Chase Center in San Francisco; administer 4,000 square feet of retail space within the new arena; and run three local fan shops.

Fanatics also will handle e-commerce sales for the Warriors, who have led the NBA in licensed merchandise sales four of the past five seasons. Levy Restaurants’ Rank + Rally merchandising division previously held the Warriors’ merchandising rights.

The 10,000-square-foot flagship store will open in September and be the first to operate within the “Thrive City” retail sector of the Chase Center mixed-use development, adjacent to the arena’s main entrance. The store, which will be Fanatics’ largest retail footprint, will be open year-round, for perhaps as many as 12-13 hours a day, servicing all events at the new arena. 

As for bells and whistles befitting Silicon Valley? Through the Warriors app, fans will be able to buy and have merchandise delivered to their seats, or have it waiting for them at the store after the game, or shipped elsewhere.

Fanatics Chief Commercial Officer Cole Gahagan promised the eventual introduction of technology allowing customers to check out without standing in line at cash registers. In-store kiosks will extend the “omnichannel’’ shopping experience, allowing fans to browse and buy all Warriors licensed products.

Design elements will include a wall built of Spalding basketballs. Other large NBA licensees also are expected to make brand statements within the store, and there will be a large area dedicated to customized NBA jerseys. 

“This won’t be your normal arena store when you are just running people in and out,” said Brandon Schneider, Warriors chief revenue officer. “With that much space for the flagship store, there’s lots of opportunities, not just for sales but in the experiential area.”

A typical NBA arena has around 4,000 square feet of retail space for merchandise, Schneider added. With the flagship store, the Chase Center will have 14,000 square feet. Fanatics also will administer Warriors-branded brick-and-mortar stores in San Francisco, San Jose and Walnut Creek.