According to Sports Business Daily, which first reported the deal, the agreement means Under Armour will brand all 30 MLB teams’ jerseys, with Fanatics gaining broad apparel rights excluding headwear, which will remain with New Era.
The deal marks the end of MLB’s partnerships with Nike and Majestic Athletic, who have been MLB partners since 2009 and 2005, respectively. Majestic’s current deal ends after the 2019 season and its parent company, VF Corp., put its licensed sports group, which includes Majestic, up for sale in March.
Fanatics has been an MLB business partner since 2003 and has long provided e-commerce fulfillment for most major domestic sports properties, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, PGA Tour and team sites. Fanatics inked a massive 17-year extension of its off-field MLB deal last year, and this new arrangement gives it greater influence over MLB than any licensee, according to the Sports Business Daily report. — M.Q.