Fanatics News Articles
Fanatics has entered into partnerships with the University of Miami and UEFA over the last year. In entering into these partnerships, they have resolved some issues they faced regarding establishing a significant presence on the US college scene and in the European sports apparel market. The settlement of a racial discrimination action closes an unpleasant door in Fanatics history, while the appointment of a new CFO opens a new one. The hiring of 2,500 seasonal staff resolves staffing issues for Fanatics and creates a positive vibe in their hometown.
Fanatics Hires Nike Executive as New CFO
- Former Nike CFO, Michener Chandlee, was hired by Fanatics as their new CFO. Chandlee will leave Nike after 18 years to work in the Fanatics West Coast office in San Mateo.
- Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that Fanatics was planning an initial public offering. The estimated annual revenue of $2 billion has led to speculation that the privately-owned company was going public. The company needed a CFO.
- The company made a note in its press release regarding Chandlee's appointment stating he was joining Fanatic at an opportune time. Fanatics have several new initiatives due to commence, including the manufacture and distribution of NFL and MLB Nike gear from 2020.
- Chandlee's background with Nike and knowledge of the sports apparel markets are viewed as hugely positive, and Fanatics is of the firm view he is the man to guide the company's financial future.
- This article was published in the Jacksonville Daily Record on 26 September 2019.
Fanatics Expands Further into College Sports
- Fanatics is well-established as the leading sports apparel supplier in professional sport in North America. They have been looking to increase their presence in the college sports market. Bloomberg News reported on 20 May 2019 that Fanatics was entering into a ten-year partnership with the University of Miami. They will become the primary apparel licensor for the university.
- The apparel will either be produced by Fanatics or sub-licensed. Fanatics will also work with Adidas AG, who is the Miami Hurricanes' current jersey supplier.
- This is the third partnership of this nature that Fanatics has entered into. The other two partnerships are with Oregon and Florida. Fanatics sees its role with all three universities as adding value in three distinct ways. This involves driving the licensing royalties, unlocking the fan potential, and ensuring the universities receive commissions on sales.
- Part of the agreement includes Fanatics funding a data analytics position within the Athletics Department to analyze data concerning ticket sales and donations. The partnerships with Oregon and Florida do not contain a data analytics role. Miami approached Fanatics about the position so they could better understand Fanatics data.
- The agreement negates the fluctuations in the merchandise market from the universities' viewpoint, providing them with a degree of financial stability. A signing bonus and royalty agreement are also part of the new partnership, although the terms have not been released publicly.
Fanatics Pays $322,000 to Settle Racial Discrimination Suit
- Although Fanatics continues to deny allegations of racial discrimination made by a former employee, they have agreed to pay Vincent Perkins a sum of $322,000 to settle his lawsuit filed in with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. The agreement will be formalized by way of a consent decree from the commission.
- Perkins alleged he was discriminated against based on his race, by the general manager, who referred to black employees as "monkeys" or "Africans." He also asked if Perkins could read, "because a lot of you guys can't." It was further alleged after he raised concerns about the way black staff were being treated, he was told by his supervisor, "he would never be promoted."
- The settlement makes it clear there is no admission of liability by Fanatics. The company has indicated they are pleased to have resolved the matter with no finding of liability. The allegations were from five years ago.
- Fanatics have reaffirmed their commitment to a diverse, inclusive, and harassment-free workplace. A recent survey on diversity ranked both Fanatics and their CEO, Doug Mackie, 14th in diversity in a list of companies and CEOs.
- The article appeared in the Miami Herald on 25 April 2019.
Fanatics to Make 2,500 Seasonal Hires
- With the holiday season approaching and an extremely busy period anticipated, Fanatic had an issue — they were short on staff at their Jacksonville warehouse.
- To resolve this issue, they plan to hire 2,500 seasonal hires according to the report in First Coast News on 26 October 2019.
- The positions will be paid $13.50 to $16 an hour based on levels of experience. Fanatics is looking to employ Jacksonville locals and hope the positions will help locals who have recently become unemployed. The company has an affinity with the town, considering it home, having started operations at that location.
- The positions are seasonal, although the company has indicated there is potential for the contracts to be extended. Positions they are seeking to staff include seasonal fan advocates, seasonal production warehouse associates, and seasonal fulfillment associates.
Fanatics Signs Long-term UEFA Sports Merchandise Deal
- Fanatics has succeeded in formalizing its expansion into the European sports market. On 12 July 2019, it was reported that Fanatics had signed a long-term deal with UEFA to produce official merchandise that will be sold at official UEFA events.
- Fanatics has created a model that will enable it to meet increased demand as teams progress through a particular tournament. The retail platform they have developed allows on-demand manufacturing, which is a fundamental requirement in a tournament environment, as the popularity of a particular team increases the further they progress.
- Fanatics will be the official fan shop for all UEFA international football events. This includes both the men's and women's European Championship in 2020 and 2021, the finals of the Nations League, the Under 21 European Championship, and the European Futsal Championship.
We initially reviewed a range of industry publications and media articles detailing Fanatics' rapid ascension in the sports apparel market and its dominance of the market around professional sport in the US. The European and College markets were identified as key expansion areas. Against this background, we reviewed a range of media articles from the last year looking for stories that addressed key issues for Fanatics. The racial discrimination settlement and hiring of staff fell into this category. The Miami and UEFA and UEFA partnerships also resolved issues around expansion for Fanatics. The final story regarding the appointment of a new CFO was also an issue that needed resolving due to the speculation around the company possibly going public.