Wednesday September 27, 2023

Fanatics Valuation Jumps To $31B After $700M Raise

  • Fanatics will look to acquire more companies after raising around $700 million at a $31 billion valuation.
  • The raise was led by new investor Clearlake Capital.
Front Office Sports Today

Taylor Swift Takes NFL to New Heights

Taylor Swift and her rumored relationship have brought in a new, more female-heavy audience.
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September 27, 2023 | Podcast
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Fanatics is loading up on cash with an eye toward expansion.

The digital sports platform and retail heavyweight raised around $700 million in common stock, bringing its valuation to $31 billion, sources close to the matter confirmed to Front Office Sports.

  • The round was led by new Fanatics investor Clearlake Capital, the primary financial backer of Todd Boehly’s purchase of Chelsea FC.
  • New investors, including LionTree LLC, made up 60% of the round. The balance was provided by previous backers including Silver Lake, Fidelity, and SoftBank.
  • Fanatics raised $1.5 billion at a $27 billion valuation in March.

The business expects to bring in $8 billion next year, per sources, across separate companies including merchandise-focused Fanatics Commerce, Fanatics Collectibles — which includes $500 million acquisition Topps — and Fanatics Betting & Gaming, which will launch next year.

Although Fanatics will gain control of trading card rights for the NFL, NBA, WWE, UFC, and college athletics in the coming years, those future proceeds aren’t included in the revenue projection.


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M&A Play

The company is free cash-flow positive, per sources, and intends to use the cash infusion to pursue mergers and acquisitions.

One area of focus could be its nascent sports betting and iGaming venture. In October, CEO Michael Rubin said Fanatics would launch its sportsbook in January and bring it to 15-20 states by the next NFL season.

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