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On-Demand Business Requiring Customized Products image

On-Demand Business Requiring Customized Products

The on-demand business for licensed sports merchandise is requiring customized products as fans eschew generic versions in favor of those that deliver a personal touch, Fanatics’ Cole Gahagan said during his keynote presentation at Licensing Expo on Tuesday.

The growing demand for personalized gear also is quickening the pace of delivering the product. Fanatics had Chicago Cubs World Series championship merchandise on its web site within two minutes of the title being won. And in a promotion with Uber, Fanatics delivered products ordered in the Chicago area last October within an average of eight minutes via 40 drivers whose cars had been prestocked with merchandise across an eight-hour shift.

“In today’s on-demand economy, personalization is critical because customers and fans are not reacting to generic,” Gahagan said. “They are reacting to customization and we are seeing that every single day. The on-demand economy is also about being about being able to meet demand at any point over the course of season and the lifetime of a fan.”

The growing market for on-demand merchandise is being driven by mobile devices. While 50% of Fanatics’ nearly $2 billion in annual sales currently is by customers using mobile products, that will be 100% within five years, Gahagan said. Those sales are being derived from data that tracks buying patterns and allows ecommerce companies to anticipate a customer’s next purchase.

“You have to be three steps ahead of the fan and you need good data and analytics to tell you that if a fan has purchased products of certain team before, they may be interested again given the right moment,” Gahagan said. “It is not just the speed to market and having product available for constant demand, it is really about being able say, ‘I know your behavior and I also know what you bought before,’ so I am going to personalize the message.”

Gahagan’s keynote speech will be available for viewing on the LIMA website beginning Friday, May 26.



Fanatics, Cole Gahagan, Chief Commercial Officer, 904-421-8143


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