Fanatics plans major expansion beyond merchandise

Michael Rubin's Fanatics Super Bowl Party - Inside
Getty Images

In recent years, Fanatics has become a major force in sports merchandising. It not hopes to simply become a major force in sports.

The company announced on Tuesday that it will expand into media, sports betting, gaming, NFTs, and ticketing. Michael Rubin, executive chairman of the company, will become the CEO of the expanded operation.

Appearing on CNBC, Rubin explained that he wants to create the ultimate one-stop shop for the full needs of any sports fan.

“There’s really not another company that’s thinking about giving the digital sports fan everything they want in one place,” he said.

Via Sports Business Journal, the company has added another $325 million in funding, at a total valuation of $18 billion. New investors include Jay-Z (pictured with Rubin) and Roc Nation.

Rubin added that Fanatics “definitely” will become a public company in the near- to medium-term. He wants to make progress in the new business lines before making an initial public stock offering.

This likely means that Rubin’s expanded company will be looking to buy or to build gambling and media interests. That strategy will be a lot more efficient than starting such businesses from scratch.

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