Steve Davis

Fanatics forms new college division with acquisition of fermata partners

by Stephen Garner
Steve Davis
President of Fanatics International Steve Davis

Official licensed sports merchandise company Fanatics has announced the formation of Fanatics College, a new division of the company that will focus exclusively on elevating the comprehensive offerings it now provides for collegiate partners across the country, which include e-commerce, omnichannel arena and stadium retail operations and brand management services.

With a seasoned team of college merchandise and branding experts, Fanatics College will provide partners with a better, more sophisticated way to connect directly with their fan bases and alumni through a broader, more-timely merchandise assortment that fulfills the growing, real-time demand of consumers.

Fanatics has also announced it has acquired the collegiate licensing services practice of Atlanta-based Fermata Partners from CAA Sports, a division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA). The Fanatics College division will be comprised of the industry’s foremost specialists in collegiate consumer products marketing. Two of the founding members of Fermata, Derek Eiler and Chris Prindiville, will be joining Fanatics College. They will be joined by an existing team that has decades of experience working in the college space, including Brian Swallow who was instrumental in creating the first large-scale e-commerce platform for universities at Fanatics starting in the early 2000s.

The Fermata team that oversees the college licensing business will remain in Atlanta and operate as a separate division integrated into the Fanatics business unit that manages other major sports brand licensing programs.

“The acquisition of Fermata’s collegiate licensing business strategically aligns with our focus towards delivering leading-edge technology, robust data, omnichannel retail services and deepened licensing capabilities to university partners,” said Cole Gahagan, chief commercial officer at Fanatics. “The agile creation and distribution of high-quality collegiate merchandise, coupled with our standalone ability to help universities manage their brands and connect more directly with their fans, present our partners with the best possible set of solutions to help them grow their business.”