Make-A-Wish and Fanatics, a leading global digital sports platform, announced a first-of-its-kind partnership in which Fanatics will become the wish- granting organization’s “Official Sports Partner.” Through the partnership, sports-related wishes in the US will be granted under the co-brand of Fanatics Make-A-Wish.
With more than 900 sports partnerships, exclusive contracts with thousands of top-tier athletes, and a brand that is focused on the sports fan, Fanatics is uniquely positioned to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for wish kids and their families and elevate the broader sports-related vertical that Make-A- Wish is building. This includes supporting life-changing wishes around athlete meet-and-greets, Championship games, All-Star Weekends, Rookie Drafts, and the world’s premier, sought-after sporting events.
“Fanatics has been championing Make-A-Wish and its incredible efforts for many years, and this partnership will be an ongoing testament to the power of sports and the possibilities for children to heal through connections to their favorite teams and sports heroes. Fanatics’ relationships and access to thousands of athletes across all sports, a wide- ranging roster of preeminent partners, and expanding sports platform will all be leveraged to give these incredibly brave kids and their families the most memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that we’re honored to deliver,” Orlando Ashford, said Chief People Officer at Fanatics, said.
In addition to supporting wish granting, Fanatics will make a $10 million contribution and provide Make- A-Wish with additional resources – including merchandise and production costs for external storytelling efforts – to build a comprehensive partnership over the next several years. These efforts will help create an even stronger sports vertical and close the gap in the number of sports wishes waiting to be granted, resulting in more children receiving their wishes sooner and Fanatics’ platform elevating the level of experiences offered.
“A critical illness upends childhood, bringing months, and sometimes years, of fear and traumatic stress into the lives of children and their families. Our partnership with Fanatics will help us create transformative experiences that will leave a lasting, positive impact long after the wish, often marking a turning point in a child’s treatment and recovery,” said Leslie Motter, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America.
The official partnership comes after many years of Fanatics’ support for Make-A-Wish, helping enhance wish kids’ experiences at sporting events, including most recently at the MLB All-Star Game in Seattle and upcoming at the 2023 World Series. Over the years, Fanatics has helped Make-A-Wish chapters elevate wish experiences by organizing meet-and-greets with athletes, providing premiere hospitality during sports events, and gifting wish kids licensed sports merchandise from their favorite teams and players.
In addition to wish-granting support, Orlando Ashford, Fanatics Chief People Officer, will join the Make- A-Wish America National Board of Directors with a focus on deepening our relationship and strengthening the organization’s sports vertical.