With the help of Fanatics, Paris Saint-Germain, one of the most well-known soccer clubs in the world, now has a presence in Los Angeles.
Last Saturday, the sports merchandise company opened a Paris Saint-Germain-themed store in the Westfield Century City Mall. PSG apparel, including LA-inspired clothing from its partnership with Michael Jordan’s brand and Nike, is available at the store. Fanatics managed the opening and then handed over day-to-day operations to Lids, a retail company that Fanatics owns in part.
The store opening is the first step in Fanatics’ strategy to expand PSG’s brand across North America. Last June, the parties renewed their partnership, making it Fanatics’ largest merchandising deal with a professional sports team.
PSG is a “trailblazing” brand, according to Zohar Ravid, Fanatics’ general manager for international business.
Since its first e-commerce deal with Fanatics in 2017, PSG brand diversification director Fabien Allegre said interest in the club outside of France has grown. The team now wants to concentrate on the United States, where soccer is gaining popularity.
“The North American market has always been strategic for us, but it is becoming increasingly so,” Allegre explained. “It is our second-largest market outside of France. Our popularity is steadily increasing, as the number of followers on social media continues to grow at a rapid pace, and the number of viewers for our games consistently exceeds previous highs.”
PSG is worth $2.5 billion and is ranked ninth on Forbes’ list of the most expensive soccer teams. According to the publication, the club’s revenue in 2020 was $599 million.
PSG is owned by Qatar Sports Investments, a state-owned company headed by PSG Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi. In 2017, PSG paid a record $263 million transfer fee to Barcelona for soccer star Neymar. The club also paid nearly $200 million for the rights to Kylian Mbappe, a French forward. The club finished second in the French professional league Ligue 1 this season, and Manchester City knocked them out of the Champions League semifinals.
Fanatics’ e-commence operations and partnerships are expanding. On May 11, the company announced an “omnichannel retail partnership” with the Phoenix Suns. They will run e-commerce and the Suns’ retail store inside their arena as part of the deal. Fanatics also raised $320 million in new funding in March, valuing the company at $12.8 billion, up from $6.2 billion in August.
Fanatics China was also founded, with Hillhouse Capital as a partner. The company’s China operation is expected to be worth more than $1 billion, according to Fanatics.