Activision Blizzard furthers eSports initiative with merchandising deal
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Activision Blizzard furthers eSports initiative with merchandising deal

Video game market leader Activision Blizzard has signed a multi-year global licensing deal with online sports retailer Fanatics. The companies announced last Monday that Fanatics would be the “exclusive home” for Overwatch League merchandise. This agreement marks Fanatics first foray into the world of eSports – although the company has plenty of experience in offline sports, and is an “official” partner of the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and NASCAR.

Activision Blizzard’s share price has declined by 3% over the past five days

graph 10 activision

Source: Yahoo Finance

Fanatics will create and run a website for Activision Blizzard that sells a variety of branded apparel and accessories: jerseys, fan gear, headwear and hard goods, all featuring the Overwatch League’s 20 franchises. According to last week’s announcement, it should go live by February 14 next year.

Daniel Siegel, head of eSports licensing for Blizzard Entertainment, said: “It's no secret who the 800-pound gorilla of the sports licensed apparel market is. That's Fanatics. From a quality perspective, they check every box for us. Because we like to think of ourselves as blazing new trails in esports with Overwatch League, we certainly want to be partnering with the best in the business to help us get down that trail and keep being what we hope is the best esports league in the world.”

Ross Tannenbaum, head of special projects for Fanatics, says he relied on his son to help him understand this new world. The 56-year old spent as much as two years in talks with Activision Blizzard, and he liked what he saw: “That kind of passion really gripped me. Being in that building and watching it, this is an unbelievable thing. ... We're reaching a group of people now that may have not been traditional stick-and-ball sports fans but are so into this sport that it made it very clear to me that as a company, we needed to work really hard to get into this space. This has a tremendous opportunity to be a huge business. We absolutely believe we can contribute into making it a great sport.”

Disclosure

Dominion holds Activision Blizzard in its Global Trends Luxury Fund


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