Fanatics Acquires WinCraft Hardgoods Sports Licensee

Fanatics continues to expand its reach — this time on the hardgoods side.

The largest seller of licensed sports merchandise has acquired WinCraft, a $100 million hardgoods and promotional product business that has a history dating back 60 years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the newest addition will operate under the Fanatics Brands division, and gets Fanatics into the hardgoods side of the business. WinCraft sells clocks, banners, bumper stickers, towels, signs and other sports-related items.

Fanatics said it will retain WinCraft’s headquarters in Winona, Minn., along with its offices in Iowa and Florida. Dick Pope, who has run the business for the last 42 years, will retire and John Killen, WinCraft’s president, who has 35 years of experience in the industry, will join Fanatics as senior vice president and president of WinCraft. He will report to Molly Adams, executive vice president, chief integration and transformation officer for Fanatics Brands. Adams recently joined Fanatics and has extensive experience in global merchandising, product development and business integration from companies such as Famous Footwear and The Walt Disney Co.

Fanatics is in the process of obtaining rights from WinCraft’s extensive partner roster, including more than 700 colleges, all professional sports leagues and teams, all championship events, select European and Premier League teams, the Olympics, NASCAR, Disney and others.

In August, Fanatics closed a $350 million Series E funding round that the company said would be used to accelerate its vertical commerce business. The funding valued the company at $6.2 billion. Since that time, Fanatics acquired assets from Vetta Brands, including leading collegiate headwear brand Top of the World, which was facing liquidation.

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