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Fanatics Is Badly Ruining Sports Merchandise

Over the summer of 2023, the FIFA Women’s World Cup was occurring, and I devoted most of the summer to watching as many games as I possibly could to learn about the team dynamics of the countries and delve into the culture of football (soccer for those of you that speak American English). This period of my life caused me to be a connoisseur of sports jerseys, and now I am a lowkey collector of jerseys.

 I also received a few jerseys as a kid, and my dad always used Fanatics to purchase sports merchandise. In elementary school, I got a Peyton Manning jersey and wore it for years without any discoloration or destruction of the jersey. However, when I learned last year that Fanatics would be the company producing merchandise for the NHL, I immediately became skeptical.

In recent years, the quality of merchandise that Fanatics produced has gone downhill. Whether it be the jerseys that they make or the quality of printing on t-shirts, they are no longer the reputable company that they used to be. Now with Fanatics producing jerseys for the MLB, consumers and players alike are trapped in a box of low-quality jerseys.

Fanatics' History

As I said, in the past, the quality of sports jerseys was very high. As a kid, I had an authentic Mets Jersey and the logo was stitched instead of iron-pressed. Currently, I also have an authentic Mets Jersey, however it was purchased from Fanatics in 2021. I love that jersey to death, but the fabric feels flimsy, and the logo is iron-pressed so one of the corners is peeling off a bit. I hesitate to buy anything from Fanatics, due to their lack of quality in their products lately. It would be more cost-effective to just get a fake jersey because the quality would probably be the same. 

How Fans Feel

With the new MLB jerseys, fans are already noticing how Fanatics have ruined them. First off, they moved the MLB logo from the collar to the back of the shirt. That provides less room for the name and the number to remain their previous sizes. Fanatics’ solution for this was to keep the number the same size but make the font of the name comically small. They also did not bother to center the logos on the front of the jersey. Everything about the way this jersey looks is absurd to me.

How Players Feel

The players have also noticed differences between this jersey and prior years’ jerseys. They claim that the jerseys feel cheap and thin like a replica jersey. In their statement, the MLB claims that the new jerseys use Nike Vapor Premier technology, making the jersey breathable and lighter. However, that is no excuse for the quality of the clothing to go down, and it is not an excuse to make the jerseys as ugly as possible.

Final Thoughts

I do hope that the monopoly that Fanatics has on multiple major league associations ends soon. My team’s City Connect jersey comes out this year, and I might as well buy a fake than spend an abhorrent amount of money on a low-quality jersey. I hope this backlash knocks some sense into the league because nobody is happy about this outcome.



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