Fanatics Gets $18 Billion Valuation, Reorganizes Under New CEO

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Fanatics Inc. raised new funding that values the sports-merchandise business at $18 billion, bolstering the company’s growth prospects as it looks to expand beyond retail into new sectors such as media and sports betting, a person familiar with the matter said.

The $325 million round counts investors such as SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund and Silver Lake, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing the details. Other investors taking part include rapper Jay-Z and his entertainment company Roc Nation LLC, Insight Partners, Eldridge, TWG Sports Media & Entertainment, and Major League Baseball, the person said.

Fanatics is reorganizing under Michael Rubin, the founder and executive chairman, who’s taking over as chief executive officer of the expanding company. Doug Mack, the current CEO, will maintain his current responsibilities overseeing the e-commerce operations.

Fanatics is looking to grow beyond its main business selling sports apparel and collectibles. It has hired executives from across industries, such as IAC’s former chief financial officer, Glenn Schiffman, former Los Angeles Dodgers President Tucker Kain and former FanDuel Inc. CEO Matt King.

Management is interested in getting into the gaming, ticketing and media businesses within the sports ecosystem, according to a spokesperson. In June, Fanatics started a new nonfungible token platform called Candy Digital.

A previous $320 million funding round closed in March valued Fanatics at $12.8 billion. The company has raised about $2.2 billion in total.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the new funding on Tuesday.

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