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Each year, PI Live brings together professionals from across the performance marketing ecosystem, including publishers, agencies, advertisers, and retailers. Mid-conference, PerformanceIN journalist Mustafa Mirreh caught up with Wade Tonkin from Fanatics and Impact founder Todd Crawford to talk about the value and challenges of expanding narrow affiliate programs into full-fledged partnership networks. 

“As the industry is shifting to broaden outside of affiliate, it’s really impacting revenues to the brand, the value to the brand, as well as, frankly, the career paths of people who go from affiliates manager to partnership manager,” said Crawford, who had just wrapped up a panel discussion on the topic, “You’re Doing Partnerships Wrong.” 

How Fanatics expanded into a full-fledged partnership program

Tonkin put the subject into concrete terms, providing a real-world look at how Fanatics has expanded its traditional affiliate network to a very different mix of media partners, newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, and sports fan communities—and how the flexibility of Impact technology has helped make that possible. 

“As our company evolved, we started to do a lot of deals that were bigger than a traditional affiliate deal—they were different,” says Tonkin.  “Working with Impact, I can go out and find the partner I want to work with and bring them on instantly, without exposure to other merchants, and be able to drive the relationship the way that I want to drive it.” 

Tune into the full interview now to hear Tonkin’s advice about thinking outside the box when it comes to partnerships, looking for pockets of audiences, and building partnerships out of those communities. 

Ready to explore the wider universe of partnerships? Learn why IPMA named Impact the top SaaS platform and get started by reaching out to an Impact growth technologist now at

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