Business

Fanatics secure $27 billion in new funding, adds BlackRock, Michael Dell

Fanatics founder and executive chairman Michael Rubin at the Fanatics Super Bowl Party at the College Football Hall of Fame on February 2, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mike Coppola | Getty Images

Michael Rubin Fanatics has raised $1.5 billion in a new funding round that has valued the sports platform company at $27 billion. The company was last valued at $18 billion less than a year ago.

Its latest funding round includes new investors Fidelity, BlackRock and Michael Dell’s MSD Partners, as well as existing investors. Investments first reported by the Wall Street Journal. A source familiar with the deal confirmed the details to CNBC.

A Fanatics spokesperson declined to comment.

Rubin, co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, founded the company in Jacksonville, Florida in 2011. In the same year, he sold his e-commerce business to eBay for $2.4 billion, bought out part of it and Fanatics, which at the time was a two-store retail chain. The Fanatics now have exclusive licensing agreements with the NFL, NHL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and multiple colleges and universities to manufacture and sell jerseys, caps, and a variety of other official team merchandise.

Earlier this year, the company acquired Topps trading cards for $500 million. Merchant card company Fanatics is valued at $10 billion after a $350 million funding round last September. Rubin called Topps a cult brand in a statement announcing the move.

Fanatics is a two-time CNBC Disruptor 50 company. Subscribe to our weekly original newsletter that goes beyond the annual Disruptor 50 list, offering a closer look at private companies like Fanatics and founders like Rubin who continue to innovate across all sectors economy.


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