Formula One engages Fanatics to lead merchandise revamp

Online retailer to launch trackside souvenir tents at global motorsport series’ events.

Formula One engages Fanatics to lead merchandise revamp

The Formula One global motorsport series has signed a new partnership with apparel and merchandise giant Fanatics.

The company will be tasked with leading the revamp of the championship’s merchandise strategy, with trackside souvenir tents set to be introduced from the beginning of the 2018 season.

In 2015, Fanatics signed a similar ten-year deal with US stock car racing organisation Nascar, with a new ‘superstore tent’ central to the agreement. Two years later, however, Nascar opted to revert back to the traditional trailers which it had previously used to sell team and driver merchandise.

The length and financial terms of Fanatics’ deal with Formula One have not been made public.

“I'm not sure that we are going to revert to the 1970s of leaning over a table and saying, ‘I want this one,’” said Sean Bratches, Formula One’s managing director of commercial operations, speaking to Motorsport.com. “We have engaged Fanatics, which is the market leader in this space and has a lot of knowledge in terms of sporting events and how product is merchandised and sold.

“Next year, we will have a massive tent experience. You will be able to pick items up off a rack and see if it fits, then go into a queue with 15 to 20 registers and if you want to send it home, our partner DHL will be there to take care of it for you.”

The 2018 Formula One season gets underway with the Australian Grand Prix on 25th March.