The Overwatch League and Fanatics announced a multi-year global licensing deal Monday that will see the online retailer expand its offerings into league-related merchandise.
Fanatics, which is already an official partner of the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and NASCAR, will create and maintain a website for fans to purchase merchandise from each of the Overwatch League's 20 franchises. The website is set to go live in time for the start of the league's second season Feb. 14. Physical locations are also planned, though details remain scarce.
Previously, individual franchises have partnered with clothing companies to retail their own merchandise. The New York Excelsior's partnership with Undefeated, entered into in July, is one such example. This is the first league-wide deal of its kind.
In a statement issued to ESPN Esports, Blizzard's head of esports licensing Daniel Siegel explained that Blizzard had partnered with Fanatics because the retailer was the biggest name in its field.
"It's no secret who the 800-pound gorilla of the sports licensed apparel market is," said Siegel.
According to Fanatics head of special projects Ross Tannenbaum, the Overwatch League's region-based franchising played a major part in Fanatics' in drawing Fanatics' interest.
"If someone is living down here in South Florida," he said, "there's a team down here. My own son likes that team. Why? Because of the proximity to him. I thought that was a great idea."
Photo courtesy of Blizzard and Fanatics