Stadium shop to sell athlete NIL merchandise

A new retail merchandise store is coming to Bryant-Denny Stadium, and it will be unlike any Alabama gear store that has come before it.

The University announced a new partnership with Fanatics on Monday that expands an existing relationship between the two, including licensing rights to fan apparel, e-commerce, collectibles and more.

As part of the agreement, Fanatics will launch the first retail team store to open inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, offering not only licensed team apparel, but also athlete NIL merchandisetrading cards, and even in-game memorabilia. Student-athletes will also be able to supply the shop with autographed items to sell, and even participate in fan meet-and-greet sessions.

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The store, called The Authentic, is expected to open during the 2022 football season. It is unclear where in the stadium it will be located.

“Fanatics has been one of Alabama Athletics’ best partners for over a decade and this new agreement elevates our relationship to new heights,” said Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne. “By leveraging Fanatics’ expanded scope of services, we’ve positioned our university and student-athletes to maximize sales and brand exposure with Fanatics’ premier family of brands, including Fanatics Commerce, Topps and Candy Digital. I think our fans will be excited when they see it all come together in Bryant-Denny’s The Authentic store, which we plan to open this season.”

The NIL aspect of the retail store will allow fans to support athletes directly; the NCAA is entering its second year allowing athletes to take advantage of their NIL rights.

The 2022 home schedule features seven games, starting Sept. 3 against Utah State.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @chasegoodbread