The British & Irish Lions extends Fanatics partnership until 2030

The British & Irish Lions and Fanatics, a digital sports platform and global leader in licensed sports merchandise, have announced a long-term extension to their eCommerce and manufacturing partnership, which will run until 2030 and include the 2025 and 2029 British & Irish Lions Tours.


The partnership extension which will see Fanatics retain exclusive global eCommerce rights with the Lions, was agreed following strong growth in Lions merchandise sales through the official Lions Rugby online store, which is operated by Fanatics. Merchandise sales during the 2021 British & Irish Lions Tour were confirmed to be the highest in Lions Rugby history – surpassing the 2017 Tour even before the opening pre-Tour game vs Japan kicked off, and more than doubling 2017 sales by the end of the Tour.


Lions fans will benefit from Fanatics’ world-leading assortment of licensed sports products and the widest range of merchandise ever created for a Lions Tour. Products include a host of fanwear and exclusive Fanatics-branded items.


Lions Rugby will also continue to utilise Fanatics’ industry leading Cloud Commerce technology, which provides rapid navigation for fans across online and mobile sites. This has meant rugby fans around the world have access to faster website performance, larger hi-resolution product displays, multiple currencies and frictionless checkout, transforming the shopping experience.


Speaking on the partnership Ben Calveley, CEO at the Lions said: “The long-term strategic ambition of The British & Irish Lions is to be the most successful and admired sporting brand both on and off the pitch and one of the keys to this is our connection with our global fan base of almost 14 million people and how we engage with them.


“Fanatics has a strong reputation across global sport as an innovator and provider of fantastic retail experiences, making them the perfect partner for us as we look to build upon our product range and overall retail experience.


“Following the successful commercial performance of the 2021 Tour, alongside the strong relationship we have built, we are excited to continue working with Fanatics over the months and years to come as we continue to expand our global reach and enhance our offering to fans.”


Chris Smith, Director of Business Development, Strategy and Planning at Fanatics also said: “The British & Irish Lions is an iconic, globally renowned sporting brand and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working with the team. Over the coming years, our goal is to build on the record-breaking success of the 2021 Tour and utilise our market-leading technology, innovative spirit and unparalleled licensed sport expertise to continue delivering first-class results and fan experiences.”


Fanatics partners with more than 900 of the largest sporting organisations, teams and leagues in the world including England Rugby, Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, The FA, UEFA, NFL, NBA and Formula 1.

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