Products based on ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Dune’ are en route as the company branches out further beyond sports
Fanatics Inc.’s collectibles division has signed deals with Netflix Inc. and Dalian Wanda Group Co.’s Legendary Entertainment as it moves beyond sports memorabilia into pop culture.
As part of the agreements, Fanatics will make trading cards for Netflix’s “Stranger Things” sci-fi show and Legendary’s “Dune” film franchise. It has also come to an arrangement with filmmaker Kevin Smith for his upcoming “Clerks III” project. The first products, which haven’t yet been revealed, will be released under the Zerocool card brand later this year.
Fanatics has been expanding from its roots as a licensed sports-merchandise seller, adding new business lines like trading cards and sports betting under Chief Executive Officer Michael Rubin. It has made substantial investments in collectibles, acquiring Topps in January for $500 million and signing deals across professional and college sports as it builds a portfolio of card brands.
Zerocool, which debuted in March, is leading Fanatics’ efforts in culture, art and entertainment. Early products include lines with Paramount Global and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Executives said earlier this year that they’re looking to sign long-term licensing deals with more production studios, musicians, fashion houses and other properties.
The agreement with Legendary gives Fanatics exclusive rights to make cards for the “Dune” films starring Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya through 2025. Meanwhile, “Stranger Things,” the most popular TV show of the year and an even bigger hit than Netflix anticipated, will add another collection to a lineup that has spawned merchandise across apparel, collectibles and toys.
Fanatics expects its collectibles business to surpass $1 billion in revenue in 2022. Its e-commerce division, by comparison, is projected to hit about $4.5 billion in sales.