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NHL seals long-term Fanatics partnership

Online sports retailer Fanatics has expanded its association with the NHL to become the official manufacturer of a range of apparel products for the North American ice hockey league.

The long-term agreement becomes effective from the 2017-18 season, with Fanatics set to supply products including headwear and replica jerseys, as well as merchandise for the season-ending Stanley Cup Playoffs and Final.

US sports broadcaster ESPN reported that the deal would run for 16 years, until the 2032-33 season.

Fanatics will serve as the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of all adult replica NHL jerseys, which will be produced by the retailer’s merchandise division, Fanatics Branded. The top tier of the jersey range will be called ‘The Breakaway’. Youth replica jerseys will also be on offer.

Fanatics will also manufacture and supply other NHL products such as locker-room hats and t-shirts for the Stanley Cup-winning team.

In addition, Fanatics will operate on-site retail sites at various NHL marquee events and will support the league’s auction website.

Brian Jennings, NHL executive director and chief branding officer, said: “After a rigorous process, Fanatics emerged as an optimal choice given their commitments to expanding their already best-in-class capabilities in the e-commerce space, including building a sales and distribution infrastructure in Canada, and to produce lines of replica jerseys and apparel products that will excite NHL fans and drive sales for NHL retail partners.”

The 2017-18 season will also mark the beginning of the NHL’s partnership with German sportswear company Adidas, which will serve as the league’s official outfitter of on-ice uniforms and official supplier of licensed apparel and headwear.