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Overwatch League lands major merchandise deal with Fanatics

Fanatics will design and sell gear for the pro eSports league.

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ESPAT Media via Getty Images

Blizzard's Overwatch League is teaming up with Fanatics for a multi-year merchandise deal that should pull eSports apparel a little closer to the mainstream. It marks the first eSports partnership for Fanatics, which handles merch and e-commerce stores for major leagues such as the NBA and NFL.

Fanatics will design team jerseys and other apparel, and manage online sales as well as retail stores at OWL events -- the league's second season kicks off February 14th. The online stores, meanwhile, will be the first places you can buy gear for OWL's eight expansion teams.

As with more traditional sports, merchandise is an important way for OWL teams to build their brands. The New York Excelsior, for instance, has focused on making its gear streetwear-friendly, and it ran a pop-up shop and fan event this past weekend.

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