Amazon Closing Unprecedented Tottenham Deal for Online Store

Amazon and Tottenham Hotspur are finalizing a first-of-its-kind retail partnership that will see the English soccer club build its own brand store on Amazon’s website, according to two people familiar with the plans.

The tie-up marks a new level of interest from Amazon in licensed sports merchandise, an area that hasn’t yet been a major priority for the world’s biggest online retailer. It also draws a direct line between Amazon’s retail business and its growing Prime Video service, which is about to unveil a new documentary series about the club’s 2019-20 season.

The store’s launch will be timed to capitalize on that release, the people said. More than that, Amazon will use “powerful tools” to entice customers who view All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur to shop at the store, according to an email sent to the club’s licensing partners and confirmed by Sportico.

An Amazon spokesman declined to comment. Officials for the club didn’t respond to multiple requests.

The deal is a potential playbook for how Amazon can further marry its core retail business with its growing sports media arm, which includes the All or Nothing documentary franchise and live sports like Thursday night NFL games. Knowing who’s watched what gives Amazon even more data capture to pitch products available in its marketplace.

The All or Nothing franchise has included shows about the Dallas Cowboys, the University of Michigan football team and another English Premier League soccer club, Manchester City. Amazon Prime Video has also commissioned a four-part series about French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain.

Partnerships like the Tottenham store might help Amazon source media relationships in the future, and should also help the soccer club in its negotiations with future partners. Tottenham can now offer prioritized placement in a custom storefront within the world’s largest online retailer, something unique among top-tier soccer teams.

The store will feature products sourced directly by the club as well as Tottenham products from a handful of the company’s licensees, which were asked to accept a higher royalty rate, according to the people. The first episodes of the documentary will debut Monday; it’s unclear exactly when the store will go live.

Its launch may also have ramifications for Fanatics, the dominant force in licensed sports merchandise. Recently valued at $6.2 billion, Fanatics has a hand in all levels of the industry, including as the go-to online store for items like jerseys, t-shirts and branded hard goods. Its Tottenham landing page has more than 200 products.

Tottenham, which plays in London, is one of the richest clubs in the world. The team made around $615 million (521.1 million Euros) in 2018-19—the eighth most in Europe, according to Deloitte’s annual rankings. The club’s corporate partners include Nike, Heineken and Hugo Boss.

The team also recently finished a $1.32 billion (1 billion pounds) stadium, which will host overseas NFL games, rugby, concerts and other events. Amazon is reportedly among the companies that have expressed interest in the naming rights.

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