Paris Saint-Germain, one of the world’s most prominent football clubs, now has a presence in Los Angeles thanks to Fanatics.
The sports merchandise company opened a store dedicated to Paris Saint-Germain in the Westfield Century City Mall last Saturday. The store sells PSG apparel featuring LA-inspired apparel from its Michael Jordan and Nike brand collaboration. Fanatics operated the opening and then transformed day-to-day operations into retail company Lids, which Fanatics partially owns.
The store rollout is the first Fanatics plans to grow PSG’s brand in North America. The parties renewed their partnership last June in Fanatics’ main merchandising agreement with a professional sports club.
Zohar Ravid, Fanatics general manager for international affairs, called PSG a “groundbreaking” brand.
Fabien Allegre, PSG’s director of brand diversification, said interest in the club has grown outside of France since the first e-commerce deal with Fanatics in 2017. The team now wants to focus on the US market, where interest in football is growing.
“The North American market has always been strategic for us, but it has become increasingly important,” says Allegre. “Outside of France, it is our second largest market. Our popularity is steadily growing as the number of followers on social media grows rapidly and the viewership for our games regularly beats previous records.”
PSG is valued at $2.5 billion and ranks ninth on Forbes’ most expensive football list. According to the publication, the club’s 2020 revenue was $599 million.
PSG is owned by state-owned Qatar Sports Investments, led by PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi. PSG paid Barcelona a record $263 million transfer fee for football star Neymar in 2017. The club also paid nearly $200 million for the rights to French striker Kylian Mbappé. The club finished second in the French professional league Ligue 1 this season and was eliminated by Manchester City in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Fanatics is expanding its e-commence activities and partnerships. The company entered into an “omnichannel retail partnership” with the Phoenix Suns on May 11. Through the deal, Fanatics will operate e-commerce and the Suns’ store in their arena.
And in March, Fanatics raised $320 million in new funding, giving it a valuation of $12.8 billion, up from $6.2 billion last August. It also started Fanatics China and joined investment firm Hillhouse Capital. Fanatics expects its operation in China to be worth more than $1 billion.