BSSF Blog: Fanatics’ Rise in Digital Marketing


The Cowboys’ online web shop with Fanatics has already debuted. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Fanatics, a website where fans can buy their favorite team jerseys or other products, is a leading e-commerce company in the sports world. Now, they are becoming even bigger.

The Dallas Cowboys, one of America’s most notable football teams, has hired Fanatics to take over their merchandising. This 10-year contract gives the company total control over the team’s online merchandising. The Cowboys are the latest significant name but 26 other NFL teams are already e-clients of Fanatics. 

Following the partnership, Fanatics began by creating a new webshop for Cowboys products. Cowboys Merchandising COO Tim Burkhart said the shop’s alignment with the NFL’s pre-existing store ensures consistency and breadth for customers. It is a unique situation because the Cowboys do all their merchandising in-house as opposed to following the rest of the NFL. For example, they have about 20 actual shops that are fulfilled internally. Fanatics is also taking over the Cowboys’ digital marketing efforts and will control their media networks, global headquarters and inside AT&T Stadium.

Broadly speaking, companies now have access to many people’s data online, creating a demand for digital marketing. Leagues such as the NFL have been outsourcing their marketing to satisfy that demand. Specifically, Fanatics has unrivaled access to consumer data that teams like the Cowboys can use to track consumers’ digital footprints and curate advertising campaigns to their interests. Fanatics has grown their marketing in the NBA, NHL, MLB, and NASCAR. They also operate many college and pro sports digital marketing initiatives.

With the number of teams they already work with in the NFL and other sports, Fanatics holds a monopoly on digital marketing. Their extension into the sports marketing world has grown the company and increased their revenue intake. They are an example of the benefits companies can have in the sports marketing business by exposing themselves to different leagues and controlling them.