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University of Alabama, Fanatics create partnership to reimagine the college fan experience at Bryant-Denny Stadium

Fanatics and the University of Alabama announced a long-term, multifaceted partnership that includes a wide range of exclusive rights from UA for activation by Fanatics across its expanded digital sports platform. This comprehensive partnership spans multiple categories, including primary licensee rights for fan apparel and headwear, e-commerce, stadium retail, physical and digital trading cards, and collectible rights.

Fanatics is a longstanding partner of the university, operating the official e-commerce destination for the Alabama Athletics Department at, as well as perennially ranking as a top-selling licensee for Crimson Tide merchandise.

Multiple businesses across Fanatics’ digital sports platform will execute this new end-to-end collegiate partnership model, including Fanatics Commerce and Fanatics Collectibles; Topps, the legendary trading cards brand, and Candy Digital, a next-gen digital collectibles company.

The expanded partnership will allow UA to capitalize on Fanatics merchandising platforms to create, promote and distribute Alabama merchandise featuring the name, image and likeness (NIL) rights of Crimson Tide student-athletes. As a cornerstone of the agreement, Fanatics will launch The Authentic, the first retail team store inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Expected to launch during the 2022 college football season, the one-of-a-kind fan shop will feature a significant assortment of officially licensed team apparel and student-athlete NIL merchandise, including customized Nike player jerseys, customized name and number T-shirts, headwear, official game-used memorabilia and on-demand digital trading cards from Topps.

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Take a digital look inside The Authentic @ Bryant-Denny Stadium – A Fanatics Experience from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The Authentic retail space will create opportunities for Crimson Tide student-athletes to provide autographed memorabilia, conduct fan meet and greets, and conduct social media marketing to support sales of their NIL merchandise. Fanatics will work with OneTeam Partners in securing group licensing rights for activation for NIL rights on merchandise, in addition to separate marketing and autographs partnerships.

“Fanatics has been one of Alabama Athletics’ top partners for more than a decade and this new deal elevates our relationship to new heights,” said Greg Byrne, UA athletics director. “By taking advantage of the expanded breadth of Fanatics’ services, we have put our university and student-athletes in a position to maximize sales and brand exposure with Fanatics’ blue-chip family of brands, including Fanatics Commerce, Topps and Candy Digital. I think our fans will be fired up when they see everything come together inside The Authentic shop at Bryant-Denny, which we plan to open this season.”

The University of Alabama has perennially been Fanatics’ top-selling collegiate partner, and under the new arrangement, Fanatics will obtain exclusive rights to be Alabama’s primary apparel and headwear licensee across several retail distribution channels. Fanatics Brands, Fanatics’ in-house apparel division, will design, manufacture and distribute an expanded selection of Crimson Tide licensed apparel and headwear. UA will retain the right to manage all licensing rights via its licensing agency, CLC, for the campus and local market in Tuscaloosa.

Fanatics Collectibles and Topps have secured rights to design, manufacture and distribute official physical and digital collegiate trading cards. These products will combine the use of official University of Alabama trademarks and the NIL rights for current and former Crimson Tide student-athletes. Beginning in 2025, Fanatics Collectibles will be the university’s exclusive trading cards partner. Candy Digital will create digital collectibles and NFTs of select past Alabama greats and current Crimson Tide student-athletes.