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Fanatics assessing ticketing move following major investment

Sports apparel giant Fanatics is proposing a move into the ticketing sector following a fresh funding round that values the group at around $18bn (£13bn).

The Florida-headquartered company is reported to be considering the launch of ticketing, sports betting and media operations following a new injection of $325m from investors including Todd Boehly’s Eldridge, rap artist Jay-Z and Roc Nation

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the world’s largest seller of licensed sports merchandise is looking to leverage its technology, its database of more than 80 million fans and its relationships with more than 300 leagues, teams and colleges to grow business in new verticals.

While the company has yet to officially confirm the value of the investment and the business plan, it did comment on a link the story on LinkedIn, writing: “Exciting day for the future of Fanatics!”. 

The $18bn valuation is triple the company’s valuation from last year, which was around $6.2bn in August. It then rose to $12.8bn earlier in 2021 following another round of funding.  

Fanatics already runs the e-commerce websites for sports leagues across America, including MLB, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA, MLS and UFC.

To accommodate the growth of the business, Michael Rubin has been made the chief executive of Fanatics overall. Tucker Kain, who was previously a Los Angeles Dodgers executive, has come in as chief strategy and growth officer. 

Doug Mack will remain the chief executive of the commerce side of the business, and also add the role of vice chairman. Glenn Schiffman will serve as the chief financial officer of the venture, while Matt King will work alongside Rubin to build some of the new Fanatics businesses.

Image: Dez Hester @DezHester on Unsplash