Walmart looks to score online with sports fans

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Walmart looks to score online with sports fans

By Marianne Wilson - 01/29/2019
Walmart has announced a deal that couldn’t be more timely — and gives it an edge over Amazon.

Just in time for the Super Bowl, Walmart has entered into a long-term partnership with sports apparel and gear marketplace Fanatics to launch a new specialty shop offering licensed fan gear on Walmart.com. The deal comes as Walmart has been boosting its acquisitions of, and partnerships with, digitally native brands, giving it access to exclusive goods that Amazon does not have.

The new “Fan Shop by Fanatics,” now live on Walmart’s site, will offer thousands of items from professional sports leagues, including merchandise from such brands as Nike, and New Era. The assortment includes officially licensed apparel, jerseys, hats, collectibles, tailgating items and novelty products.

“We offer more than 75 million items on Walmart.com,” said Eric O’Toole, general manager, sports and fitness, Walmart U.S. eCommerce. “And, as we continue to grow our assortment, we are also focused on adding harder-to-find specialty items. Today’s announcement of our partnership with Fanatics is part of this ongoing commitment to create unique, specialized experiences on Walmart.com that make it easier to find the items our customers (in this case, sports fans) are looking for.”

Along with its own brand, Fanatics operates such sites as NFLShop.com, NBAStore.com and MLBShop.com. It also holds exclusive licensing rights to produce and distribute merchandise for major professional sports leagues and events. O’Toole noted that this will enable Walmart “to quickly give customers access to the latest and greatest items for sports’ biggest moments, including official fan gear for this weekend’s Super Bowl and the recent NFL Conference Championships.”

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