Global merchandise and memorabilia brand Fanatics announced on Tuesday a multiyear partnership as the exclusive distributor of Ohtani autographs, collectables and memorabilia. Ohtani will sign bats, jerseys, photos and select game-used items in both English and Japanese. The partnership does not affect sports cards.
"This is something we've been working towards for a while," Fanatics executive vice president Victor Shaffer said. "[This] will be the first time fans are going to be offered a full array of [Ohtani's] memorabilia products. The strength of his celebrity and his collectability extends well beyond the United States."
Ohtani accounted for 28 percent of all 2021 All-Star Game merchandise sales. Fanatics started selling Ohtani memorabilia last week; not only did the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year quickly become baseball's No. 1 athlete on the site, but his sales outrank the No. 2 MLB player 10 times over.
Since July 1, in memorabilia and merchandise, Ohtani is the top-selling athlete on Fanatics across all sports, which includes hundreds of professional and collegiate teams.
Ohtani called it "an honor to join Fanatics as their latest exclusive athlete," an addition to a roster that includes Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso, Tom Brady, Trevor Lawrence, Sabrina Ionescu, Joe Burrow and Zion Williamson.