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Shohei Ohtani Agrees to Contract for Fanatics to Be Exclusive Memorabilia Partner

Adam WellsJuly 20, 2021

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Coming out of an All-Star week in which he was the biggest star in Major League Baseball, Shohei Ohtani has joined Fanatics. 

Per an official release from the company, it has signed an exclusive deal with the Los Angeles Angels star to become the sole distributor of his memorabilia. 

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

Victor Shaffer, executive vice president of Fanatics, called Ohtani "a once-in-a-generation baseball talent" as part of his statement about the deal.

“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,” added Shaffer.

"Since July 1, in memorabilia and merchandise, Ohtani is the top-selling athlete on Fanatics across all sports, which includes hundreds of professional and collegiate teams," according to ESPN's Dan Hajducky.

Ohtani joins a group of Fanatics exclusive athletes that includes Tom Brady, Zion Williamson, Sabrina Ionescu, Mookie Betts and Trevor Lawrence. 

When the Angels signed Ohtani in December 2017, it was unclear how he would be able to translate his ability as a pitcher and hitter to Major League Baseball.

The Japanese superstar quickly erased those doubts as a rookie in 2018. He posted a .925 OPS in 104 games as a hitter and 3.31 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 51.2 innings on the mound to win American League Rookie of the Year. 

Ohtani has taken his performance to another level this season. He leads MLB with 34 homers and a .686 slugging percentage, to with a 3.21 ERA in 14 starts. 

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