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MLB, Nike, Fanatics Form New 10-Year Global Partnership

Fanatics gearMajor League Baseball, Nike and Fanatics announced a new 10-year global partnership that makes Nike the Official Uniform and Footwear Supplier of MLB starting in the 2020 season. The new cooperation among the three organizations will provide Major League Baseball players with uniforms developed by Nike’s team of innovative designers and will provide fans with the widest assortment of MLB fan gear ever, manufactured and distributed by Fanatics.

Starting in 2020, Nike will be the exclusive provider of all MLB on-field uniforms, which will feature the Nike Swoosh, along with baselayer, game-day outerwear and all training apparel for the 30 MLB Clubs. Fanatics, the global leader for licensed sports merchandise, has been granted broad consumer product licensing rights to manage the manufacturing and distribution of the Nike MLB Authentic Collection, as well as Nike and Fanatics fan gear, sold through the retail community, including MLBShop.com, MLB clubs and brick & mortar stores.

Enhancing both assortment and speed-to-market of MLB products, Fanatics will utilize its vertical commerce model to create and distribute a wide range of MLB fan apparel sold at retail, including jerseys, Postseason apparel, and hot market gear that captures the latest events happening on the field.

“Nike’s global brand and reputation as a leader in marketing and driving innovation makes them an ideal partner,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “In addition, Fanatics is a valuable partner who has proven to serve our fans with speed, agility and quality service. We’re very excited about the possibilities this unique arrangement provides us over the next decade.”

Nike-logo-768x576In addition, Nike will continue as an official MLB sponsor, supporting league initiatives, grassroots marketing and fan events. Nike, as part of the new agreement, will partner with all 30 MLB Clubs and promote its brand and products across MLB media assets including MLB Network, MLB.com, and MLB Social.

The world’s leading performance brand will utilize its Nike Baseball athletes in official MLB uniforms across its advertising and promotions. Nike currently has endorsement relationships with over 500 MLB and Minor League players including Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, George Springer, José Ramirez, Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Javier Báez and Nolan Arenado to name a few.

“We’re thrilled to bring more innovation and creativity to Major League Baseball and the incredible athletes who play the game,” said Tom Peddie, VP/GM of Nike North America. “This is an exciting time for baseball, and we look forward to partnering with MLB to grow the sport both across America as well as around the globe.”

“Given the continued rise in real-time demand by both fans and retailers, this three-way partnership will ensure MLB fans always have access to the products they crave regardless how, where or when they want to shop,” said Michael Rubin, Fanatics Founder and Executive Chairman. “This progressive approach around joining forces between an elite performance brand and the innovative vertical capabilities of Fanatics continues to be the future model for licensed sports merchandise.”

About Jerry Milani

Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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