Fanatics App Review: Why it’s Worth a Look for Sports Fans.

Screenshot_2013-11-13-21-58-41  Screenshot_2013-11-13-21-59-58

Who is Fanatics? Well, if you have ever purchased sports merchandise online, chances are that you’re already a Fanatics customer – knowingly or otherwise.  Fanatics, Inc. is a venture-funded company out of Jacksonville, Florida.  It sells a full assortment of officially licensed apparel and accessories from every major American sports league.  More impressively, Fanatics operates the official online stores for the NFL, NCAA, NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR, PGA, and UFC in addition to the digital shops for over 200 individual teams.  The company is set to make roughly $1 billion in sales this year with about two thirds coming from league/team sites and the other third coming from Fanatics’ own branded sites.  In an effort to build greater awareness for their brand, Fanatics hired former Groupon Mobile Head, David Katz, to lead the company in developing a smartphone app for iPhone and Android.  The app, which hit its respective this past Friday, promised to be a simple and effective one-stop-shop for sports merchandise on the go.

I downloaded the free copy of the app from the Google Play Store shortly after launch.  After a quick download, I booted up the app and upon entering I was prompted to input my first name, last name, email, and a password.  Submitting this information created my Fanatics Rewards Account (also usable on the Fanatics website) and entitled me to Fanatics’ Free 3-Day Shipping and Fan Cash rewards program.

After moving past the login, I was introduced to the app’s homescreen (pictured above).  The homescreen features a slidable top banner image.  Below, five horizontal buttons allow users to browse gear from corresponding major league.  Upon clicking one of the buttons, the app provides an alphabetical list of the teams in the league.  Clicking the team name takes the user to that team’s merchandise, while clicking the empty star next to the team name saves that team as a favorite.

Browsing on the app is simple and intuitive.  Within team sections, merchandise is broken into a list of categories, ranging from broad labels like, “Mens”, to specific goods, like watches, clocks, and pet supplies.  Clicking on a specific category produces a list of products complete with images and prices (also pictured above).  Going deeper into the product offers a larger image, description, and product specifications.  Throughout the application, loading is crisp and painless.

Each page features the minimalist menu bar across the top.  On the right side of the menu bar, icons allow the user to search and view their cart.  On the left side, users can click the Fanatics logo to access a dropdown menu with more options.  The dropdown gives the user many different options, including browsing merchandise for other sports, adding favorite teams, managing their account, reading the FAQ, and calling customer service.

This app does what it set out to do without trying to reinvent the wheel.  Though I would like to see customer review integration, this app still provides a shopping experience very comparable to Amazon.com and other leading online retailers – all from the palm of your hand.  For sports merchandise, the app’s selection and accessibility are unbeatable.  Fanatics’ pricing is very competitive and the 3-Day shipping, rewards program, and return policy help to put them over the edge.

Final Verdict: 9/10 

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About Matt Leap

I'm a Senior marketing student at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. Originally from the Albany area of New York, I'm a passionate New York sports fan. I combine my love of sports with a focus on technology. I'm a numbers guy' with a mind for stats and figures. Professionally, I focus on marketing in digital spaces. I specialized in digital analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).

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