Fanatics absorbs Italian sports merchandise business EPI
U.S. digital sports platform Fanatics announced on Wednesday its acquisition of EPI, an Italian sports merchandise company that operates the official online and retail stores of several Italian football clubs and international sports brands.
As part of the deal, EPI will be rebranded as Fanatics Italy, providing full end-to-end e-commerce, in-venue, physical retail store operations and third-party logistics for sports clubs in Italy including Italian Serie A clubs like AC Milan, Atalanta BC, Bologna FC, ACF Fiorentina, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus, S.S. Lazio, and the FIGC (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio), as well as for Italian basketball club Olimpia Milano and the NBA.
As a part of the deal, which was agreed with the Industry 4.0 Fund, the Quadrivio Group private equity fund, that invests in digital transition and technological transformation for SME’s, Fanatics will also acquire The Pitch Football Store, a football specialist omnichannel retailer.
Moreover, EPI will become part of the Fanatics commerce division and all of its approximately 150 employees will continue reporting into CEO Lorenzo Forte, in his new role as the CEO of Fanatics Italy. Forte will report into Fanatics commerce co-presidents for direct to consumer, Jack Boyle and Chris Orton.
“We’re excited to join Fanatics, a global company with the experience of serving millions of sports fans from some of the biggest sports clubs and organizations in the world,” said Forte. “Fanatics is one of the fastest growing and most exciting companies in sport and we are ready to tap into its increasingly global presence and bring a more extensive digital sports experience to global fans, both here in Italy and across the world.”
The deal sees Fanatics strengthen its presence across European football with many of the world’s best clubs and countries, including Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, England (The FA), Germany (DFB) and UEFA.
"I am thrilled to welcome Lorenzo and the EPI team to Fanatics - we share an entrepreneurial mindset, a passion for delighting sports fans and a love for innovating for sports teams and leagues, which makes for an exciting future together”, said Doug Mack, Fanatics commerce CEO and Fanatics vice chairman.
“By combining EPI’s local expertise and relationships in Italy with Fanatic’s leading-edge capabilities and global reach – we are excited to accelerate business for EPI’s current partners while further advancing our unrivaled offering for new global partners ahead.”