The Monopoly in Sports That We Don’t See

Creative Commons

In today’s world we all want to show our allegiance to our favorite sports teams and collegiate alma maters. And whether it be dressed in jerseys for game day see or a more casual look for a daily outing, ones fandom isn’t hard to be shown.

It also isn’t hard to find what you are looking for. From tops, headwear, even rompers for young and old, one click to Fanatics.com is the one stop shop for your favorite team.

Founded in 1995, the original Football Fanatics name served many in the Florida area as a simple mall store. Success over the years led to a massive sale of the company to American entrepreneur Michael Rubin for over $170 million.

Now they call themselves “the global leader in licensed sports merchandise,” Fanatics Inc. controls more than 300 online and offline stores, including the e-commerce business for all major professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL MLS, NASCAR, and PGA) as well as more than 200 collegiate and professional teams.

If you were to walk into a Giants Dugout Store, Warriors Shop, or 49ers Team Store you are dealing directly with Fanatics as they have contracts with these three teams just like many others previously stated.

And while they serve all fans with a plethora of items from young to old, it isn’t tough to see that a monopoly is growing within the sports world. The main website serves all but if you were to simply go on the official webstore for MLB, NBA, or NFL you are simply being routed to the same overlord Fanatics website. Looking for an item on Kohl’s or Walmart’s website, it’s still coming from Fanatics.

The production of these shirts and jerseys that one is buying is made with the same fast fashion set up that many department stores use. It works very well to get a jersey for a new player or making sure that the biggest stars never sell out. This means even though Nike is supplying the three biggest leagues in the country (MLB, NBA, NFL), Fanatics are the ones who are producing and making the jerseys with Trout, Curry, and McCaffrey on the back.

But in regards for shirts and overall outerwear very little designs are created with creativity or even passion that represents what the fan is looking to represent: their team, their city. Look no forward to when teams are clinching postseason births and winning championships. Those Fanatics produced shirts are not appealing not only to me but to the fanatics of that team. Its understandable when you factor in the supply and demand that is needed at the time when thousands are looking to buy. Yet spending a good $30 or so for a basic looking shirt that doesn’t have much flare in it feels like a rip off.

Fanatics is a great company, do not get me wrong yet in such a creative world where sports needs to be represented correctly, they don’t do such a great job.