Fanatics Valued at $27B After $1.5B Investment Round


Sportswear retailer Fanatics has closed a $1.5 billion investment round that values the company at $27 billion, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Wednesday (March 2).

Fidelity Management and Research Co., funds managed by BlackRock and Michael Dell’s family office, known as MSD Capital, were among the investors in Fanatics’ latest fundraising round, according to the report.

Fanatics was valued at $18 billion when it raised $325 million in August in a round that included SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund, the report stated. Private equity firm Silver Lake is among Fanatics’ other high-profile backers.

The company hasn’t said when or if it will launch an initial public offering (IPO), explaining it is focused on continuing to build the business, according to the report. It continues to branch out beyond its core business of sports merchandise and memorabilia.

In August, it signed exclusive trading card deals with the unions representing players in Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL). In January, Fanatics said it was buying trading card company Topps for a reported $500 million.

Read more: Sports Memorabilia Biz Braces for Change As Fanatics Buys Topps for $500M

Fanatics also is pushing into the legal sports-betting space and launched Candy Digital to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It also owns half of hat retailer Lids Sports Group.

Fanatics also joined rappers Jay-Z, Meek Mill and Lil Baby, and entrepreneur Maverick in buying retro sports apparel company Mitchell & Ness last month for $250 million, with Fanatics grabbing three-quarters of the ownership stake.

See more: Mitchell & Ness Goes to Group Led by Fanatics and Jay-Z for $250M

“I’m incredibly excited for Fanatics to partner with this incredible group of innovative owners to build upon the company’s already strong business,” Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said at the time. “Growing up as a kid in Philadelphia, we looked at Mitchell & Ness as a badge of pride, and I truly believe this legendary brand has no limit.”