Fanatics Aims to Make a Splash in ANZ Licensing Industry with Appointment of Ex-Warner Bros. Executive

Fanatics, a global digital sports platform and leader in licensed sports merchandise, has appointed Thomas Rodger as Licensing Director, APAC, as part of its ongoing expansion into Australia and New Zealand.

Reporting into Younes Layati, Fanatics’ Senior Director of Licensing, Thomas will be responsible for establishing and growing the Fanatics licensing business across Australia and New Zealand, as well as across the broader APAC region, working with Fanatics partners such as the Australian Football League (AFL), ICC, Paris Saint-Germain, MLB and UEFA.

Bringing over 15 years’ experience across retail, licensing and marketing, including 11 years at Warner Bros, Thomas’ appointment is Fanatics’ latest move in growing its presence across the Australia and New Zealand licensing market. The announcement of Thomas comes just weeks after the AFL and Fanatics announced a comprehensive 10-year retail and merchandising deal that will significantly improve the shopping experience for AFL fans around the world with the largest assortment of officially licensed AFL merchandise ever made available.

Fanatics has recently made other key hires across the region, such as former Essendon Football Club GM Tyler Emsden and embarked upon long-term partnerships with organisations such as the ICC, and rebel, Australia’s leading retailer of sporting equipment, apparel and footwear. Through its partnership with Fanatics, rebel can offer Australian sports fans more than 100,000 officially licensed products from many of the largest sporting organisations in the world.

Fanatics partners with more than 900 of the world’s top teams, leagues and sporting organisations, including the ICC, UEFA, Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, NFL, NBA, MLB, The International Olympic Committee and Formula One.

Over the past decade Fanatics has established a reputation as a global leader in licensed sports merchandise and has expanded on its established success in commerce to include a leading collectibles and trading cards business, a sports betting and iGaming division and part-ownership in global retail giant Lids, which has already opened stores in Australia in partnership with the NBA.

Commenting on his appointment, Thomas Rodger said: “I am extremely excited to be part of the Fanatics team as we continue to grow across the Australian and New Zealand market. In particular, it is a privilege to work with institutions such as the AFL, which has entrusted Fanatics to develop its licensed merchandise and retail business. Our ambition is to serve the fans wherever they are. We will work with best-in-class licensees and retailers to represent our partners, delivering an elevated brand presence. We’ve got exciting plans locally and will use our expertise and experience with some of the biggest names in world sport to ensure we provide a compelling experience for sports fans in Australia and New Zealand.”

Thomas Rodger

Matthew Primack, Senior Vice-President for Business Affairs and Development at Fanatics, also commented: “We are thrilled to have Thomas join our growing team across Australia and New Zealand. We are determined to grow and innovate rapidly within the licensing space across the region, and Thomas’ extensive knowledge of licensing and retail, as well as established industry reputation, makes him the perfect fit to take us further towards achieving these ambitions.”

Matthew Primack, Senior Vice-President for Business Affairs and Development at Fanatics

Fanatics is the ultimate one-stop sports fan destination that ignites and harnesses the passion of fans and maximises the presence and reach for preeminent sports partners globally.

This article originally appeared in The Bugg Report Magazine Edition 43