Fanatics, the pureplay sports retailer that specialises in licensed merchandise, has appointed Stephen Dowling to a newly created international president role.

Stephen Dowling

Stephen Dowling has been appointed international president of Fanatics

Dowling, who will be based out of the company’s Manchester office, will be responsible for continuing the growth of the Fanatics commerce business outside of North America and will report to chief executive Andrew Low Ah Kee.

He joins Fanatics from Adidas where he was senior vice-president for digital growth for six years. Before Adidas, Dowling spent 10 years at Unilever where he set up and led its direct-to-consumer ecommerce offering.

The company also announced the appointment of Valerie Love and Justin Tsai as chief people officer and chief product officer respectively.

Fanatics has grown its international presence in recent years with the company now operating more than 80 offices, manufacturing facilities and fulfilment centres worldwide. 

Low Ah Kee said: “I am thrilled to welcome Stephen, Valerie and Justin, all of whom will play an invaluable role as we work toward elevating the experience of being a fan across all corners of the world.”

“We have an established international business that serves millions of fans worldwide and as our new president of international, Stephen brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in leading and growing digital businesses, which will be beneficial for our partners and fans as we move forward into our next chapter. I’m confident that under Stephen’s leadership, our international business will significantly advance its global capabilities and improve the experience for the millions of sports fans that shop with us across the world every year.”

Dowling said: “I have long admired Fanatics and the opportunity to drive true impact across the international business is incredibly exciting. 

“From the moment that I met with Andrew and his team, I could see the passion that they have for sport and their desire to improve how fans can access their favourite team merchandise, no matter where they are in the world. I’m looking forward to being part of the team and I can’t wait to get started.”