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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Fanatics Launches ‘First-Of-Its-Kind’ Experience With WWE

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

Fanatics is adding WWE to its roster in a long-term deal that will see the latter work with Fanatics Commerce, Fanatics Collectibles, and Candy Digital, the company’s NFT division. 

The deal will be a “first-of-its-kind, all-in fan experience,” according to Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin. Financial terms were not disclosed.

WWE currently handles its commerce operations in-house, selling roughly $101 million in consumer products last year — an 18% increase from the previous year and 9% of the company’s total revenue.

Fanatics will relaunch the WWE Shop this summer.

  • WWE will sell licensed merchandise designed and sold in a “real-time, on-demand” format based on WWE events’ live moments.
  • Fanatics Collectibles, which acquired Topps trading cards for $500 million earlier this year, will become the exclusive provider of licensed WWE physical and digital trading cards once WWE’s existing rights with Panini expire. That multiyear deal was signed in October and is estimated to be worth at least $10 million.
  • Candy Digital, which reached a $1.5 billion valuation in October, will become a primary NFT partner of WWE later this year.

WWE’s Upward Turn

The deal comes after WWE surpassed $1 billion in revenue for the first time in 2021, and just a week before WrestleMania, one of the most popular WWE events. Peacock, which purchased streaming rights to WWE last year in a five-year, $1 billion deal, announced new WWE content this week.

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