Fanatics Acquisition of Top Italian Soccer Merchandise Provider


Sports merchandise giant Fanatics has acquired Italian sports merchandise company Epi in a move to further capitalize its growing presence in Europe. The Milan-based company, which operates ecommerce, physical storefronts and third-party logistics for top Italian football clubs, such as AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Juventus, was rebranded as Fanatics Italy. The move also saw the inclusion of NBA merchandise within the portfolio of the company.

The acquisition is part of a global strategy for Fanatics, with partnerships including the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and MLS as well as with football clubs such as Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea. On top of that, Fanatics also has an agreement with the International Olympic Committee to oversee the creation of their first-ever global ecommerce site, selling Olympic merchandise ahead of the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

Doug Mack, Fanatics Commerce CEO, notes that with the major success of the three Italian clubs participating in the Champions League quarterfinals, the acquisition gives Fanatics the opportunity to help these teams expand their reach beyond their traditional fanbase. The CEO further mentioned that roughly a low double-digit percentage of Fanatics’ revenue comes from outside North America.

In December 2020, the company had completed a deal for the first non-U.S. sports club to be under the existing Fanatics-Nike partnership model. This deal was with the Yomiuri Giants, the most successful and popular Japanese baseball team.

Fanatics’ current estimated revenue for 2023 is approximately $8 billion. The company has also raised a total of $700 million in fresh capital in December 2020, valuing the company itself at $31 billion. With this new capital, Fanatics has its sights set for potential mergers and acquisitions in Europe and Asia, which have shown to be the fastest-growing areas of the company’s business in recent years.

Having established a global footprint and extending its reach to overseas sports clubs, Fanatics offers a unique experience to sports fans, while simultaneously driving growth for top football clubs around the world, notably in Italy. With the right strategies and partnerships in place, Fanatics will remain a leader in the sports merchandise market with even more scale and size than before.