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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Fanatics CEO Sells 76ers, Devils Stakes With Eye on Expansion

  • Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin is selling a reported 10% stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment.
  • The move avoids potential conflicts of interest as Fanatics expands.
Fanatics-CEO-Michael-Rubin
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin is selling his stakes in pro teams to clear the path for a broader expansion in the sports landscape.

The executive is unloading his reported 10% stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. HBSE was valued at over $3 billion earlier this month after it sold a stake between 5% and 10% to Arctos Sports Partners.

“As our Fanatics business has grown, so too have the obstacles I have to navigate to ensure our new businesses don’t conflict with my responsibilities as part-owner of the Sixers,” Rubin said in a statement.

Fanatics has grown from a focus on sports apparel and retail to pursue a range of sports-related industries.

  • After securing trading card licensing deals from MLB, MLBPA, NBA, NBPA, and NFLPA, Fanatics acquired Topps for around $500 million in January.
  • Last month, Fanatics filed for a sports betting trademark, under the name BetFanatics.
  • The company has explored entering the regional sports network space.

Trade Speculation

The sale allows Rubin to explore financial relationships with individual players in the NBA and NHL. 

He is known to be close to 76ers star Joel Embiid, and free-agent guard James Harden – whose relationship to Rubin drew the interest of other NBA executives before Harden was traded to the 76ers from the Brooklyn Nets.

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