Fanatics Acquires Italian Sports Retailer EPI
Fanatics acquired EPI, the Milan-based operator of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores for the NBA and several Italian soccer clubs. Terms were not disclosed.
EPI, soon to be re-branded as Fanatics Italy, provides end-to-end e-commerce, in-venue, retail store operations, and third-party logistics for Italian Series A clubs, including 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 agreed to with the Industry 4.0 Fund, the Quadrivio Group private equity fund that invests in the digital transition and technological transformation for SMEs, Fanatics will also acquire The Pitch Football Store, a football specialist omnichannel retailer.
With the acquisition, Fanatics intends to continue growing its presence across European football, including Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, England (The FA), Germany (DFB), and UEFA, already using its comprehensive retail and merchandise capabilities, including its vertical commerce model.
Fanatics currently has more than 60 offices, manufacturing and distribution facilities worldwide, including in Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, Australia, and the U.S., and the addition of EPI further strengthens its capabilities across Southern Europe.
“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.”
EPI will become part of the Fanatics Commerce division, and all of its approximately 150 employees will continue reporting to CEO Lorenzo Forte in his new role as the CEO of Fanatics Italy. Forte will report to 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.”
Recently, Fanatics expanded its business model into key international markets and has several comprehensive partnerships with sports clubs and organizations worldwide, including Formula 1, International Olympic Committee, NFL, NBA, UEFA, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Chelsea, England Rugby, Tokyo Giants, The FA, and the AFL.