Michael Rubin, chief executive of Fanatics and a retail owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils is selling his shares to avoid conflicts with the NBA and NHL over ownership rules, ESPN reported.
Transition from part owner to lifelong fan
Rubin, who owns a 10% stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), the company that owns the NBA franchise from Philadelphia and the NHL franchise from New Jersey, is reluctantly relinquishing its stake in HBSE to facilitate further growth with Fanatics after the brand is about to launch in sports betting and individual player partnerships.
“As our Fanatics business has grown, so have the obstacles I have to overcome to ensure that our new businesses do not conflict with my responsibilities as part-owner of Sixers… Given these realities, I will unfortunately sell my shares in the Sixers and the transition from part owner to lifelong fan. ”
Michael Rubin, CEO, Fanatics
The brand that sells licensed professional and college online merchandise has been preparing its entry into sports betting for a while, starting with the recruitment of former FanDuel CEO Matt King in May this year and followed by the creation of a division of betting and games and going. in a recruiting machine. In August, the merchant established in 1995 in Jacksonville, Florida, reached a total estimate of $ 18 billion.
“With the launch of our trading card and collection items business earlier this year, which will have individual contracts with thousands of athletes around the world, and a sports betting operation that will start soon, these businesses new ones will directly conflict with the rules of ownership of sports leagues. – Rubin explained.
The writing was on the wall
The news that Rubin is leaving HBSE prompted company co-founder Josh Harris to express his gratitude to Rubin for his ‘tough passion, entrepreneurial mindset and unwavering commitment to doing the right thing’, implying that the expansion of Fanatics in the global scene will inevitably mean that Rubin will have to sell his shares.
“Michael will always be a member of our HBSE and Sixers family, will continue to be on the court and a key partner in our collective commitment to be a force for good in Philadelphia,” Harris concluded.
In November, the Fanatics target to enter sports betting suffered its first major setback after the New York State Games Commission refused to issue a sports betting license to the company despite support for rap legend Jay-Z.
Fanatics was at the center of rumors that he would enter sports betting via the M&A route by buying a US-based sports book only for Rubin to come out and cancel reports of a possible acquisition meaning there were no suitable candidates on the radar. company.
In May, Fanatics filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register BetFanatics, a mobile sports betting, fantasy sports and gaming app.