Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has signed an exclusive, two-year deal with a new memorabilia division of online sports merchandise retailer Fanatics, which will offer a more than 20-item product line of Davis-inscribed baseballs, signed jerseys and photos.
The Orioles player joins teammate and center fielder Adam Jones and about 60 other athletes with exclusive deals with the newly rebranded Fanatics Authentic, including David Ortiz, Colin Kaepernick, Peyton Manning, Prince Fielder, Tony Parker and Paul George.
"Chris is a great addition to our lineup," said Victor Shaffer, executive vice president of Fort Lauderdale-based Fanatics Authentic. "We have a really nice stable of sluggers."
The website is a rebranded version of former memorabilia wholesaler Mounted Memories, a division of a company purchased by Fanatics. Fanatics, which operates more than 150 different web sites, sells baseball, football, basketball, hockey and NASCAR merchandise licensed by sports leagues and players.
Shaffer said the site's rebranding includes a new focus on selling directly to consumers, allowing the company to better protect the value of the memorabilia it sells.
"No consumer likes to spend x and find out whatever they purchased is x minus y, especially when they're buying sports collectibles," Shaffer said. He said the company uses holograms with special codes in its authentication process. "We're bringing customers a new level of authenticity about what they're purchasing."
Under the Chris Davis deal, the athlete will make several public appearances and provide the retailer with signatures on specially designed items.
"He'll also provide us with a few pairs of batting gloves and cleats that he uses," Shaffer said. "His products will be available through all the Fanatics sites, but you won't see it anywhere else."
That's because under the terms of the deal, the Orioles player will not be permitted to sign autographs for other companies. But he's not under any restrictions on autograph signings when it comes to fans.