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Golf Business News – IR&A unveils retail partnership with Fanatics

IR&A and Fanatics, the global digital sports platform, announced an exclusive marketing and sales partnership to transform the fan experience for millions of golf fans around the world across the Open and AIG Women's Open.

The long-term agreement, which includes eCommerce, events and physical retail, as well as memorabilia and licensing rights, will offer fans the widest range of Open and AIG Women's Open merchandise ever put together, including headwear, apparel, lifestyle wear and limited edition. collections. In addition, Fanatics has the rights to manufacture, market and sell official apparel and accessories for open supporters.

Under the terms of the partnership, Fanatics has relaunched and will operate the official R&A Online Store, now live, and take over the operations of The Open Shop, a brick and mortar retail store in St Andrews. In addition, Fanatics will also oversee the marketing of events at The Open each year, including the upcoming 152nd Open at Royal Troon with an expected attendance of 250,000 fans, and the AIG Women's Open at St Andrews.

This agreement builds on Fanatics' long history and reputation in the world of golf, the business currently partners with the United States Golf Association (USGA), and has announced a long-term partnership with TGL introduced by SOFi, a new technology- advanced golf club league developed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy's TMRW Sports in association with the PGA TOUR.

R&A stall at 2023 AIG Women's Open at Walton Heath Golf Club

Commenting on the deal, Stephen Dowling, President of International at Fanatics, said: “The Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in sports, reaching fans in over 190 countries around the world, and we are delighted to have the opportunity. to help fans come in person, and show their support around the world.

“Golf is rapidly approaching a new era, inclusive and accessible to new fans of the game. We welcome this opportunity to create new, exciting products for both existing and new fans, including brand collaborations with a focus on fashion, lifestyle and luxury product lines. Golf fans around the world can be excited about what they have in store for years to come.”

Neil Armit, Chief Commercial Officer at the R&A, said: “Exciters have a strong reputation and expertise in e-commerce and marketing so they were a natural choice for a new partnership as we aim to increase our sales and marketing. The Open and AIG Women's Open for fans around the world, including expansion into six languages ​​and five currencies. We look forward to working with Fanatics in the coming years to strengthen fan engagement and usher in a new era of developing our professional tournaments around the world.”

Chris Smith, Senior Director of Business Development, Strategy and Planning at Fanatics, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with the team at The R&A, and the opportunity to serve fans at The Open and AIG Women's Open. With our significant experience selling events at some of the biggest sporting events in the world, and our leading technology in the online store, used by more than 900 sports partners worldwide, golf fans around the world will have an unrivaled game. experience when you purchase official Open and AIG Women's Open merchandise.”

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