Fanatics Inc., a sports gear sales group, has agreed to purchase Licensed Sports Group from VF Corp and to take over operations at the group’s Majestic factory in Pennsylvania. The deal will allow Fanatics to enter into the MLB uniform manufacturing and gear industry.
The deal will save 600 jobs and comes after an announcement that Under Armour will start supplying major league baseball with uniforms in 2020.
Fanatics has stated that the company will continue to make fan items and jerseys after Under Armour’s deal begins. Majestic’s plant has been on the market for over a year, with many employees fearful that the plant wouldn’t be acquired.
VF Corp, owner of Lee and Timberland brands, among many others, lost their contract with the MLB in December, adding to employee fears that the company would shutter the plant. The fear sparked the town of Easton’s mayor, Sal Panto Jr., to take action, and ask President Trump to bring some of his foreign manufacturing contracts to the city to allow the 600 residents to remain employed.
The President remained silent before Majestic came to an agreement with Under Armour to continue making uniforms at the plant. The announcement came on Tuesday, with Under Armour stating that the workers will help build Under Armour’s MLB apparel business.
Fanatics founder, Michael Rubin, has benefited from recent issues at Under Armour, as the company’s stock has lost half its value since last fall. The company has struggled to maintain stock growth, as declining sales in the sportswear market have cut into profits.
Rubin’s company sells fan gear directly to consumers online, competing with Under Armour in sales.
Rubin purchased full control of Fanatics in 2011 after selling GSI Commerce to eBay in a $2.4 billion deal. Terms of the deal have not been officially released by either party.