In March 2022, WWE partnered with giant merchandising Fanatics, leading to a revamp of the WWE Shop online store, among other initiatives. The collaboration was deemed successful by both parties and on April 18, 2023, they announced an expansion of the partnership, with Fanatics now handling merchandise sales at all WWE events worldwide.
The expanded alliance between WWE® (NYSE: WWE) and Fanatics will begin on May 1, just before WWE's premium live event, Backlash®. Fanatics Commerce, the e-commerce, licensed merchandise, and physical retail operations division of Fanatics, will manage on-site event retail experiences for WWE's annual calendar of over 300 events, including premium live events like WrestleMania®, Royal Rumble®, and SummerSlam®.
Fanatics will collaborate with the experienced WWE teams that previously operated the event retail business in-house to optimize the shopping experience for WWE's growing global fanbase. This partnership will involve developing enhanced in-venue product offerings with more localized merchandise collections, crafting innovative event retail stores and experiences, and utilizing Fanatics-operated team stores during various live events.
Fanatics has physical retail partnerships with over 50 professional and college teams across multiple sports. This expansion follows a solid commercial performance for WWE in 2022, including record-breaking demand for merchandise.
Fanatics became WWE's global e-commerce partner in 2022 and saw record-breaking sales at events such as WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, Money In The Bank®, and SummerSlam. Alex Varga, WWE Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Development praised Fanatics as a valuable partner that will significantly enhance WWE's event retail business.
The expanded partnership will help WWE grow merchandise revenue in 2023 and beyond.
WWE, Fanatics Enhance Fan Experience
The long-term partnership between WWE and Fanatics, announced in March 2022, leverages various aspects of Fanatics' expanded digital sports platform to offer an improved experience for WWE fans worldwide, encompassing e-commerce, licensed merchandise, memorabilia, and physical and digital trading cards and collectibles.
Molly Adams, Fanatics Commerce Chief Strategic Retail Officer, expressed her company's commitment to providing an unmatched event retail experience for WWE's passionate fans at hundreds of events globally. WWE Backlash®, hosted by Bad Bunny, will take place at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Saturday, May 6.
The expanded partnership could offer wrestling fans more merchandising options at and around shows and please shareholders by reducing overhead costs and boosting sales revenue, ultimately improving WWE's bottom line.