Fanatics said in a statement the multiyear partnership will make them the exclusive distributor of merchandise autographed by Ohtani, including signed bats, jerseys, and game-used items. (Baseball cards are not part of the deal.) Ohtani will sign memorabilia in both English and Japanese, the report detailed.
The partnership makes sense, given Ohtani has become Fanatics’ top seller since they added his merchandise to their site just a week ago. This follows the Iwate, Japan product accounting for 28% of merch sales at this year’s All-Star Game, according to ESPN.
“This is something we’ve been working towards for a while,” Fanatics executive vice president Victor Shaffer said in the statement. “(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.”
While Ohtani merchandise is flying off of shelves, the 26-year-old continues to impress on the baseball diamond. He currently possesses a 3.21 ERA with 95 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP on the season. At the plate, he’s slashing .277/.362/.686 with a league-leading 34 home runs.