Michael Rubin attends the Fanatics Super Bowl Party on February 12, 2022 in Culver City, California.
Shareif Ziyadat | Cinematic Magic | fake images
Billionaire Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin announced Wednesday that he will sell his 10% stake in the parent company that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, citing a conflict of interest with Fanatics’ collectibles and sports betting operations. planned.
Rubin has no plans to buy a different team after selling his stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC. Instead, his focus is on Fanatics, the sports e-commerce company that has grown since 2011 to become a global operation with a $27 billion valuation.
“When it was part of the ownership group that acquired the Sixers in 2011, Fanatics was just starting out with a small office in King of Prussia selling only licensed sports merchandise online.” Rubin said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Today, Fanatics has rapidly transformed into a global, multi-company digital advertising platform with more than 10,000 employees in 57 countries and serving nearly 100 million sports fans worldwide.”
Fanatics’ growth has been fueled in part by its acquisitions in recent years of WinCraft, which makes sports-themed merchandise, and Topps, the trading card company it bought for $500 million.
The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, and some player unions have holdings in Fanatics, which has numerous licensing rights and deals with professional and college athletes.
Topps recently announced that it will launch a new line of trading cards featuring college athletes this fall, a program that will include more than 150 schools and cut earnings for some of the players.
“I had the incredible opportunity to be part of the ownership group by purchasing the team I grew up idolizing,” Rubin said in his statement. “Going to games, meeting our players and seeing them up close from the inside has been one of the most exciting and educational aspects of my life.”
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– CNBC’s Jessica Golden contributed to this article.