Fanatics to take over as NHL jersey maker starting in 2024
WASHINGTON (AP) — The NHL is changing jerseys again.
Fanatics is taking over as the league’s on-ice jersey provider beginning with the 2024-25 season, replacing Adidas, which has made them since 2017. It's the third company to make NHL jerseys since 2005, after Reebok handled them for more than a decade.
“It just became, for us, really a natural evolution of our ongoing relationship,” NHL executive vice president of marketing Brian Jennings said, referring to a deal with Fanatics that dates to 2005. “They have been a partner that has absolutely shared our commitment to innovation and performance and creativity.”
It's the first time Fanatics will make in-game jerseys with their own branding for one of the four major North American men's professional sports leagues. The company has made Major League Baseball's uniforms since 2017 for Majestic and Nike, which executive Doug Mack said helped Fanatics take this step.
“Our philosophy is we don’t need to reinvent wheels,” said Mack, a Fanatics vice chairman and CEO of commerce. “We’re not going to make change for the sake of change.”
Mack said the first step will be to solicit feedback from players and equipment managers. The company, which currently makes the NHL's replica jerseys, has already chosen the same Canadian factory to produce the authentic jersey that Adidas uses.
“Right now I think the most important thing is to make sure that there is a smooth and seamless transition that involves just the production and the servicing of our athletes and our clubs,” Jennings said. “And I am supremely confident that that will take place.”
Fanatics also said it's hiring people with experience from Adidas, Reebok and CCM to aid in that transition.
“Pleased with our time with Adidas and pleased to have a new partner," Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "Don’t expect, really, much to change.”
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Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press