WWE sent out the following press release…
WWE® and Fanatics Announce Long-Term Sports Platform Partnership Across E-commerce, Licensed Merchandise, Trading Cards and NFTs
First-of-its-kind deal will encompass many parts of Fanatics’ expanded digital sports platform
WWE to create an amplified sports and entertainment experience for its growing global fanbase
NEW YORK & STAMFORD, Conn.– WWE® (NYSE: WWE) and Fanatics today announced a comprehensive, long-term sports and entertainment partnership that will see Fanatics utilize its expanded digital sports platform to create a new, enhanced experience for WWE fans globally across several businesses, including e-commerce and licensed merchandise, as well as physical, digital, and non-fungible token (NFT) trading cards. Through the ground-breaking deal, WWE will benefit from many capabilities across the Fanatics platform to create more opportunities for its global fanbase to showcase their pride and passion for WWE, its marquee events, and star-studded roster.
The businesses that will work together to create an elevated fan experience include Fanatics Commerce, Fanatics Collectibles and Candy Digital.
“Fanatics is the industry leader and Michael Rubin is a visionary,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “We believe this multi-platform partnership will set a new standard for WWE e-commerce, apparel and merchandise, while providing our fans globally with more ways than ever to engage with WWE and our Superstars.”
As part of the agreement, this summer Fanatics will exclusively re-introduce a new, rapid e-commerce and mobile destination, WWE Shop, giving fans around the world access to a leading assortment of WWE merchandise across all categories, including apparel, hard goods, such as title belts, headwear, accessories and more. Fanatics will work closely and collaboratively with the talented teams at WWE who have significantly grown this business in-house for decades, and the company will also add rights to design, manufacture and distribute real-time, on-demand merchandise collections to celebrate unpredictable WWE moments and new and emerging Superstars.
“WWE is one of the most widely admired sports and entertainment properties worldwide, and it made perfect sense to activate many parts of our Fanatics global platform to create a first-of-its-kind, all-in fan experience,” said Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin. “From e-commerce and licensed merchandise to trading cards and more, we’re going to offer up an incredible set of capabilities to help WWE’s passionate fans worldwide celebrate their favorite Superstars, marquee events and the WWE brand overall.”
Fanatics Collectibles, the company’s trading cards and collectibles division, will also become the exclusive provider of licensed WWE physical and digital trading cards, which will once again bear the nostalgic Topps logo. Fanatics acquired the legendary 70-year-old Topps brand earlier this year, which previously held a long-term relationship with WWE. That deal will commence when WWE’s existing trading cards rights expire over the next few years.
Also under the pact, later this year Fanatics’ next generation digital collectibles company, Candy Digital, will become one of WWE’s primary NFT partners. Candy’s team of world-class digital artists, designers, and technologists will curate and build a full range of high-quality trading card NFTs featuring WWE’s biggest moments and stars.