Fanatics launched its live streaming platform on Wednesday, just ahead of the National Sports Collectors Convention.
Fanatics Live is the company’s first foray into livestream ecommerce for sports cards, although the company plans to expand to memorabilia and other items. It’s currently available in North America on Apple devices, with web and Android support coming later this year.
While Wednesday marked the official launch, the company did a test run during the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby earlier this month.
Fanatics Live will primarily revolve around online trading card breaks but will also offer limited edition merchandise and collectibles drops. Expect high-profile athletes to appear in breaks conducted during the National, as they did during the All-Star stream, and at other special events Fanatics will conduct throughout the year.
“With Fanatics Live, we see a tremendous opportunity to marry content, community, and commerce, and are incredibly excited to officially launch our product,” statedNick Bell, CEO of Fanatics Live. “By bringing together like-minded fans and collectors on our platform, coupled with an extensive network of partners across sports, entertainment and culture, Fanatics Live aims to build a trusted environment for fans with highly entertaining, quality programming where commerce is ultimately its by-product.”
Fanatics Live is working with a broad range of partners, from individual creators and brands to sports leagues and more. They’ve already lined up a collaboration with SLAM Magazine, with more to be announced in the months ahead.
Fanatics Live will also leverage existing Fanatics businesses to create immersive content and commerce opportunities, including Fanatics Authentic, its autograph and memorabilia division, Topps and Lids, as well as existing partnerships across Fanatics’ sports and entertainment portfolio.
Fans and collectors on the platform onboard by signaling their interests and can then discover new content based on what their preferences are. Streams come to life through interactive widgets and a live chat experience that lets them engage with creators and react in real time.
Numerous trading card case breakers have already signed on after being approved by the company.
“All sellers on the platform are screened and complete formal onboarding with our team,” Bell told Forbes. We have selected partners based on content quality, trust, safety and customer performance record. Additionally, we have introduced industry leading compliance. This includes a requirement that a minimum of three camera angles are provided for all live streams to ensure maximum transparency for buyers.