Operator Matt King (Betting & Gaming)

Fanatics

904-685-7842

Fanatics is a multi-billion-dollar American manufacturer and online retailer of licensed sportswear and sports collectibles that is now getting into the world of sports betting and iGaming.

The company in its current form emerged in 2011 when the Fanatics brand – then, a Florida-based sports retailer with an e-commerce presence with college and professional teams – merged with GSI Commerce, which was founded by American businessman and philanthropist Michael Rubin. GSI Commerce secured its first e-commerce deal with NASCAR in 2002 and nine years later had e-commerce rights from all North American sports leagues. Rubin merged the assets of the original Fanatics into GSI Commerce in 2011, then sold GSI that same year to eBay for $2.4bn. Subsequently, Rubin bought back GSI’s e-commerce business and kept the name Fanatics for the new company moving forward.

At that point, Fanatics had hundreds of e-commerce partners across North American leagues, teams and colleges. Rubin’s goal was to create a real-time licensed sports merchandise experience for fans and partners that was specifically adapted to the on-demand world. Fanatics’ emphasis is on real-time manufacturing along with data and technology. Today, Fanatics is a mobile-first, direct-to-consumer global brand with the manufacturing capabilities to produce sports merchandise in real time for fans worldwide.

Fanatics owns the throwback jersey maker Mitchell & Ness, the sports trading card company Topps and has a stake in Lids, the ballcap retail chain.

Fanatics is building both an online sportsbook and a physical sportsbook, along with an online casino/iGaming platform. Fanatics Betting & Gaming launched its first retail sportsbook in Maryland in January 2023. In May 2023, it launched the beta version of its mobile sportsbook in Tennessee and Ohio. Fanatics plans to launch and operate its online sportsbook and iGaming platform in more states in 2023. In fact, a Fanatics sportsbook launched in Massachusetts in May 2023, just in time for Game 5 of the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.

Rubin, who serves as Fanatic’s CEO and is also the Co-Owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils, has said he intends to invest $1bn into Fanatics’ new sports betting division, with the goal of making Fanatics into “the top sports betting company in the world” in 10 years. As evidence of Rubin’s commitment to that goal, in May 2023, Fanatics acquired the US operations of PointsBet, an Australian-based online sports betting operator, for about $150m. With the acquisition, Fanatics is believed to have gained access to at least 15 states.

Fanatics has also been strategic in staffing its new sports betting division. In August 2022, for example, it hired Chris Fargis, a former director of operations for DraftKings, to work in a new senior director role.

Fanatics offers a reward program for its bettors, called FanCash. As part of its beta test offer, users can receive up to 5% back in FanCash on every bet made. FanCash is a “cross-loyalty” program, so the rewards can also be used in Fanatics’ apparel merchandising shop.

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