UT announces extended merchandise agreement with Fanatics, HanesBrands

Katy Nelson, News Reporter

UT will sell new Longhorn apparel and open a flagship retail store on campus through a partnership with major retailers.

On Oct. 7 UT announced the extension of their partnership with clothing company HanesBrands and online sportswear retailer Fanatics into 2030. HanesBrands will focus on designing and manufacturing apparel, while Fanatics will handle online management as a part of the new agreement. Through the partnership, Fanatics will open and manage a flagship retail store inside the Moody Center, which is set to open in April 2022.

“We are super excited, we’ve had a long partnership with Texas and are excited to be able to look 10 years in the future and have that partnership continue on,” said Derek Eiler, executive vice president of Fanatics College. “We are big Texas Longhorn fans at Fanatics and excited about where this will take both the University, the athletics programs and the UT licensing program.”

Fanatics also plans to open pop-up shops on Bevo Boulevard and mobile kiosks to provide merchandise to fans on game days.

“With all the success of Bevo Boulevard and Longhorn City Limits, we’re trying to take as many Texas products and put them into places that people are existing on game day,” Eiler said. “We’ll work very closely with Texas on this partnership on ideation.”

Once construction is completed on Red River Street next to the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, Drew Martin, executive senior associate athletics director for external affairs at UT, said he expects a lot of people to pass the flagship store.

“We will be the only (UT) store in that building,” Eiler said. “We’re working in very close contact with … the team at (UT) to make sure that it’s a great reflection of Texas.” 

UT will continue to partner with companies other than HanesBrands and Fanatics, such as Columbia, Vineyard Vines, Peter Millar, Tommy Bahama and more, Martin said. In addition, Nike will remain the sole provider of performance products and some fan merchandise for the Longhorn Athletics Program.

John Fryer, president of sports apparel at HanesBrands, said in an email that the company already delivers UT apparel to over 750 retailers nationwide. 

“Texas Athletics and Longhorn fans represent the spirit, tradition and leadership embodied by our Champion brand, and we are excited to be a part of this innovative apparel strategy,”  Fryer said. “And we look forward to building on our promise of quality and fashion for Texas fans.”

Fanatics and HanesBrands won a bid through the University that allowed them to extend the partnership, said Martin.

“We went out and looked at the best in class, … and we settled on the primary apparel,” Martin said. “We chose to go the route that gave us a really solid core and Fanatics and Hanes decided to partner on a bid and through that process … they were the clear winners of that process.” 

Martin said all of the parties are excited about the partnership and the opportunities the future holds.

“These two partners really are leaders in the space in terms of primary core product offerings at retailers nationwide,” Martin said. “We’ve decided to partner with the best in the class with HanesBrands and Fanatics, and I’m excited for what they’re already bringing in retail for our fans.”