Fanatics Sports Merch Company Triples Valuation Year Over Year

Sports Merchandise

With its latest round of funding, sports merchandise company Fanatics Inc. has bolstered its valuation to $18 billion, according to a Tuesday (Aug. 10) report in The Wall Street Journal.

The retailer of licensed sportswear, sports equipment and memorabilia netted $325 million in a recent funding round, with new investments from musician and business mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and his 13-year-old entertainment company, Roc Nation LLC. Current investors, including Major League Baseball, SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund and private equity firm Silver Lake also contributed to the funding round.

As PYMNTS reported previously, Fanatics more than doubled its valuation from $6.2 billion in August 2020 to $12.8 billion in March following a $320 million funding round. Major League Baseball and the National Football League continue to be large investors in Fanatics, with each contributing $150 million in 2017 and another $100 million in 2020.

Read more: Fanatics Scores $12.8B Valuation With $320M Funding Round

Fanatics operates more than 300 online and brick-and-mortar stores, serving more than 100 million sports enthusiasts worldwide, according to its website.

Sales for Fanatics’ global eCommerce operations have grown 30 percent compared to 2020. The company had said it expects to reach $3 billion in annual sales for 2021. Continued growth was the catalyst for Fanatics’ acquisition of WinCraft, a Minnesota-based creator of sports-themed merchandise for the home, car or office. The sports retailer has said it intends to take advantage of other business opportunities, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

The latest funding round, according to The Wall Street Journal, will help Fanatics further its plan to transition into a multi-faceted platform featuring various sports-related businesses, including ticketing, media and sports gambling. Fanatics will face competition in the digital gambling arena: As PYMNTS reported this week, DraftKings has announced an intent to purchase Golden Nugget Online Gaming, which will enable DraftKings to leverage Golden Nugget’s database of more than five million customers.

Related news: Digital Sports Betting Co DraftKings To Buy Golden Nugget Online Gaming In Deal Worth $1.56B