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If it has a team sports logo on it, you can probably find it at Fanatics. The biggest online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise has been leveraging traditional affiliate partnerships for more than a decade, but today it is evolving and scaling its partner programs to include new kinds of relationships and drive more incremental business. Tapping into authentic relationships between influencers and fans is part of that strategy, but so are bigger media deals, and both kinds of partnerships require fans to be on board.

We spoke with Wade Tonkin, Senior Affiliate Manager at Fanatics, about how the company is building its next generation of win-win partner relationships. You can hear the full story here

When influencers give value, audiences give back

Partnerships with sports forums and blog sites around fandom and specific teams are an important source of traffic and sales for Fanatics, especially around big matches and events. “They’ve got a relationship where the audience appreciates what they do . . . and we like making stuff happen for people that are driving fan engagement with sports teams,” says Tonkin. 

Fanatics is also growing its network of larger media partners, many of which are looking for new revenue sources and willing to work on a performance basis. 

“We need the tools to be able to put these deals together,” adds Tonkin. “That involves having really good, transparent reporting and data, so that we can come to these partners and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got all aspects of this thought out. We know how your traffic interacts with our channels. We’re going to make sure you get paid.’” 

View the full video now to get more of Tonkin’s partnership insights.

Fanatics' Partnership Strategy with Impact
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