- Olympic Shop is now online in several countries
- Agreement covers three Olympic Games through Los Angeles 2028
- Fanatics says they want to explore other areas like NFTs
Licensed merchandise giant Fanatics is working with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to create the world’s first permanent e-commerce platform for the Olympic Games.
Fanatics will establish an official Olympic store and integrate markets for Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028. The company has also secured the rights to create Olympic-branded products for all three Games, as well as past events.
Traditionally, the responsibility for the official online shops at the Olympics has rested with the individual organizing committees. Such markets were created before each event and then closed after the Olympic flame was extinguished.
This means that there has been no cohesive approach, limited global reach, no knowledge sharing, and the ability to use customer data as part of a larger engagement strategy is minimal. It has also been suggested that selling online is an afterthought compared to physical retailing.
The IOC believes that this model is no longer tolerable as it continues its direct-to-consumer sales strategy with initiatives like the Olympic Channel. Taking matters into his own hands, he has the ability to interact with customers between Games, generate revenue and collect data.
“This is an exciting launch for us, as fans in a growing number of territories will be able to purchase official Olympic merchandising and connect with the magic of the Olympic Games ahead of each edition,” said Timo Lumme, Managing Director of Olympic Services. television and marketing. at the IOC.
“We look forward to collaborating on this new boutique with the Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and LA28 organizing committees to engage with a larger fan base and deliver collectibles and products that convey the values of the Olympic movement, in accordance with IOC global policy licensing strategy.
Gary Gertzog, President of Business Affairs of Fanatics, said the IOC was drawn not only to Fanatics’ technology, but also to its experience in designing and manufacturing licensed products for some of the world’s largest sports organizations. .
“We thought our experience working with top sports around the world, the technology we could deploy and the data they would receive, we thought they would be a good fit,” Gertzog told SportsPro.
“We believe by far that we have the best technology platform in the industry. It must have great speed [and capacity] so that if something extraordinary happens in the field and people want to buy something, it can handle millions of people who want to buy a product. Our site is secure, fast and stable, and easy to navigate.
“[Merchandise] is everything we have been doing for over 20 years, working with great sports organizations and [accumulating] knowledge and contacts through sports. We consider the Olympics to be one of the most important sporting events in the world, if not the most important. We see the Olympics as an area that is not realizing its potential in terms of the products offered and the way they are offered. “
The Olympic Store is now available in select markets and will be rolled out worldwide by summer 2022, with the exception of Russia and China. The CIO has entered into a separate e-commerce agreement with Chinese technology company Alibaba, which also provides cloud services to the organization.
Gertzog added that other types of products, such as collectible cards and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) may be offered in the future.
“We see this as a start. We see this as the start of a broad relationship with the Olympic movement, ”he said.