Angels star Shohei Ohtani signs exclusive memorabilia deal with Fanatics

July 20 (UPI) — Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani inked a multiyear partnership with global merchandise and memorabilia brand Fanatics on Tuesday.

The deal makes Fanatics the exclusive distributor of Ohtani autographs, collectibles and other memorabilia. Under the agreement, Ohtani will sign baseballs, bats, jerseys, photos and certain game-used equipment in both English and Japanese.

Fanatics said the exclusive partnership with Ohtani won’t impact sports cards.

“Shohei Ohtani is a once-in-a-generation baseball talent and it’s incredibly exciting to welcome him to the Fanatics team,” Fanatics executive vice president Victor Shaffer said in a news release.

“There is no doubting his growing popularity both in the United States and in his native Japan and we look forward to providing fans everywhere with the widest assortment of Ohtani officially licensed merchandise and collectibles ever offered.”

The 27-year-old Ohtani becomes the latest exclusive Fanatics athlete, joining Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, Pete Alonso, Anthony Rizzo, Tom Brady, Trevor Lawrence, Sabrina Ionescu, Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Zion Williamson, among others.

“It’s an honor to join Fanatics as their latest exclusive athlete,” Ohtani said. “Their global presence and reach throughout both the United States and Japan will help provide fans everywhere access to incredible products.”

Since the beginning of July, Ohtani is the top-selling athlete on Fanatics across all sports, in both memorabilia and merchandise.

Ohtani has a .274 batting average with 34 home runs and 74 RBIs over 92 games this season. He also has a 4-1 record and 3.21 ERA over 14 starts in the 2021 campaign.

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