Fanatics Adds SoftBank CEO, Former Airbnb CMO to Board

Detail photo of Fanatics clothing displayed at NFL Hospitality during the 2018 NFL Annual Meetings at the Ritz Carlton Orlando, Great Lakes on March 26, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.

Mark Brown | Getty Images

Fanatics, the booming e-commerce company, announced on Thursday that it has added SoftBank’s Lydia Jett and former Airbnb chief executive Jonathan Mildenhall to its board of directors.

The Fanatics now has a 10-member board, including Fanatics chairman and Philadelphia 76ers minority owner Michael Rubin, Silver Lake co-CEO Greg Mondre, and NBA legend Magic Johnson.

Mildenhall, 54, is a former Airbnb marketing director and co-founder of consulting firm TwentyFirstCenturyBrand. Jett leads global e-commerce at SoftBank Investment Advisors, the firm that manages Softbank Vision Funds.

SoftBank originally invested $1 billion in Fanatics in 2017. This raised the Fanatics’ valuation to $4.5 billion. That same year, the NFL invested roughly $95 million and MLB added $50 million. Fanatics is now valued at $27 billion.

Fanatics wants to grow into a $100 billion company that offers online sports gambling. The company is expected to eventually go public, though it has no plans to go public this year, people familiar with the company previously told CNBC.

Fanatics said that Jett and Mildenhall would play a “vital role” in the global scaling.

Sporting goods company Fanatics has appointed e-commerce and marketing executives Lydia Jett and Jonathan Mildenhall to its board of directors.

Fanatic Council Members: Jonathan Mildenhall, Lydia Jett

“Fanatics are in the midst of an incredible transformation, and the depth of experience and insight that Lydia and Jonathan bring to the board will be vital as we unlock a new digital experience for sports fans around the world,” Rubin said in a statement. “They are both visionaries in their respective fields who will provide invaluable support and guidance as we continue to build a revolutionary sports platform.”

According to SoftBank, Jett began her career at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Web site. She graduated from Stanford University Business School and the London School of Economics. She has also represented SoftBank on boards of directors, including Coupang, a South Korean e-commerce company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Mildenhall left his post in Airbnb in 2017 and launched TwentyFirstCenturyBrand shortly thereafter in 2018. Fanatics have said that he sits on the board of directors of companies including Peloton and GoFundMe.

In a statement, Jett said Florida-based Fanatics is “in a better position than ever” to lead the digital sports consumer goods space. The company raised another $1.5 billion in March and expects to generate $6 billion in revenue in 2022.

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