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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Fanatics Furthers Push Into Content With New Live Shopping App

  • The Fanatics Live app will stream live on-location card “breaks” from athletes and celebrities.
  • The app will share content integrations with Topps, the trading card brand Fanatics bought for $500 million.
Fanatics Live will stream live on-location card “breaks” from athletes and celebrities.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Fanatics, the sports merchandising giant valued at $31 billion, has launched a new “live shopping” app called Fanatics Live with Major League Baseball among its initial partners.

Officially debuting at this week’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, Fanatics Live is an app that live streams trading card “breaks”—an industry term among collectors who record themselves opening packages of cards. It will also feature other merchandise and collectibles. NBA legend Allen Iverson will participate in a card break with Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin today at the Chicago convention. 

Fans who join the app can set their preferences to see content from collectors sharing the cards and merchandise they desire. On-location streams will feature athletes and celebrities, with MLB All-Stars Adley Rutschman and Freddie Freeman appearing in a break hosted by comedian Scott Rogowsky when the app was in beta during MLB’s All-Star Weekend at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. 

Fanatics Live will share content integrations with the company’s other brands Topps and Lids, and its Fanatics Authentic autograph and memorabilia division. The app marks a bigger push into content for Fanatics, which earlier this month made an equity deal with IMG to form a new live events division and grew its sports betting presence by acquiring PointsBet’s U.S. operations. 

Fans can purchase cards and collectibles on Fanatics Live, with Fanatics taking a percentage of each transaction. However, instead of buying specific cards, users are assigned a spot in a card break to receive the card picked in their spot.

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