- Company brings in US$325m in new investment
- Sports merchandise business on track for US$3.4bn revenue by end of 2021
Fanatics, the licensed sports merchandise giant, has reached a valuation of US$18 billion after securing a new US$325 million funding round, according to sources close to the deal.
Sources say that the new investors include Jay-Z, Roc Nation, the music mogul’s multi-media company, Eldridge owner Todd Boehly. SportsPro understands that prior investors SoftBank, Silver Lake, Insight Partners and Major League Baseball (MLB) are also adding more capital.
Having increased its online sales throughout the pandemic, Fanatics expects to make US$3.4 billion in revenue in 2021, according to reports in the US.
With the new funding, Fanatics has more than tripled its valuation in the last 12 months, having been pegged at US$6.2 billion in August 2020, and US$12.8 billion in March.
With its merchandise operation already supplying the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and MLB, SportsPro understands that Fanatics is now aiming to move into other markets such as sports betting, digital collectibles and media.
Fanatics recently launched its own non-fungible token (NFT) brand, Candy Digital, and also appears to have registered a sportsbook with the New York State Gaming Commission.
To deliver on this expanded strategy, Fanatics is shuffling its leadership team. Founder Michael Rubin is moving from executive chairman into the chief executive role, while Fanatics has hired former LA Dodgers executive, Tucker Kain, as its chief strategy and growth officer.
Glenn Schiffman, who was previously the chief financial officer at IAC, is now taking on the same role at Fanatics. In addition, Matt King, former chief executive of FanDuel, has joined the company to work on developing Fanatics’ new strategies.
Fanatics current chief executive, Doug Mack, will continue his role leading the vcommerce side of the business and will also become vice chairman of the broader Fanatics company, reporting to Rubin.
Fanatics has reached a valuation of US$18 billion after securing a new US$325 million funding round.