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A rendering of the new retail store opening in Bryant-Denny Stadium called The Authentic.
A new retail store is coming to Bryant-Denny Stadium as part of an expanded partnership the University of Alabama announced Monday with sports retailer Fanatics.
Located in the marketplace below the south end zone seats and expected to open during the 2022 football season, the store is part of the next step in the NIL strategy. Called The Authentic, the retail outlet will have an area set aside for current athletes to conduct autograph signings and meet and greets and “conduct social media marketing to support sales of their NIL merchandise,” the UA news release reads.
“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,” according to the UA news release.
The OneTeam partnership allows athletes the ability to share in the revenue when fans buy the jersey featuring their name and number.
A rendering of the athlete autograph portion of the new retail store opening in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The deal also includes collectibles of the physical and digital variety. It includes Topps trading card company and Digital Candy, a company that specializes in non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The deal between Fanatics and Topps (which was acquired by Fanatics this year) was announced in June, according to USA Today, and includes more than 100 colleges and universities. The start date for the trading card portion of the deal is set to begin in three years, according to the UA news release. Fanatics Collectables will become the exclusive trading card partner in 2025.
That includes the arrangement with Digital Candy, an NFT company launched last summer by Fanatics.
“Candy Digital will also create new levels of fan engagement through the creation of digital collectibles and NFTs of select past Alabama greats and current Crimson Tide student-athletes,” the UA news release states.
The physical store in Bryant-Denny Stadium will be the most visible portion of the deal. It will sell game-used memorabilia along with jerseys that can be customized with names and numbers.
Michael Casagrande is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ByCasagrande or on Facebook.
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