How Fanatics Scored On LeBron James (And Why It’s Winning In Sports Retail)

by MR Magazine Staff

In late June, as the basketball world waited with bated breath for word of where superstar and free agent LeBron James would play next year, online licensed sports merchandise retailer Fanatics was busy making jerseys. Would the former Cleveland Cavalier choose the Los Angeles Lakers or the Philadelphia 76ers? To Fanatics, it didn’t matter. At its warehouses in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Florida, the retailer prepared blank jerseys for both teams, ready to be finished with James’s name and number. Once the four-time National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player announced he would become a Laker in a four-year, $154 million contract, Fanatics sprang into action. Within hours, it had new merchandise ready for sale on its own website and on, thanks to exclusive licensing and manufacturing rights. As expected, James’s Lakers jersey flew off the digital shelves. Read more at Fortune.