Digital sports and apparel platform Fanatics is now in the livestream commerce business with the launch of Fanatics Live, a place for fans to purchase sports collectibles and merchandise while also watching exclusive content.
The app is available in North America via the App Store with web and Android versions coming later this year, according to the company. Users can discover new content and get curated content based on their interests, while sellers run their broadcast through “LiveOS,” which provides stream management, logistics and operations.
Fanatics Live will initially feature trading card “breaks” along with limited-edition merchandise and collectible items. On-location streams will feature high-profile athletes and entertainers.
The app launches with a range of partners from individual creators to brands to sports leagues, including Major League Baseball where the app first debuted at its All-Star Weekend in Seattle earlier this month.
There are also future opportunities to create content and commerce with Fanatics Authentic, the company’s autograph and memorabilia division, Topps, Lids and other existing partnerships, according to Fanatics.
Nick Bell joined Fanatics in February to lead the new business after serving in executive roles at Snap and Google. While the concept of live shopping isn’t as popular in the U.S. as it is in other places, like China, supporting a favorite sports team is definitely America’s pastime. The U.S. sports trading card market is poised to grow to $62 billion by 2027, while the U.S. sports and outdoor e-commerce market is expected to be valued at nearly $23 billion this year.
“With Fanatics Live, we see a tremendous opportunity to marry content, community, and commerce, and are incredibly excited to officially launch our product,” Bell said in a written statement. “By bringing together like-minded fans and collectors on our platform, coupled with an extensive network of partners across sports, entertainment and culture, Fanatics Live aims to build a trusted environment for fans with highly entertaining, quality programming where commerce is ultimately its by-product.”