Sports retailer Fanatics raises $325 million; valued at $18 billion

Marianne Wilson
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Fanatics Inc. shows no signs of losing its momentum.

The sports licensing and online merchandise retailer has raised $325 million from new and existing investors, with the new investors including hip-hop and entertainment mogul Jay Z and his Roc Nation firm, reported Reuters. The latest round of funding valued the company at $18 billion.

Fanatics, which reported strong online sales growth during the pandemic, is expecting more than $3 billion in revenue in 2021. The company is looking to expand its revenue beyond e-commerce to include NFTs, gaming, sports betting and media.

Founder and executive chairman Michael Rubin will take the reins as CEO to oversee the Fanatics’ expansion. Current CEO, Doug Mack, will continue to lead the merchandise business. 

Fanatics has signed the rights to sell online merchandise for more than 300 leagues and teams, including the United States' NFL, NBA and MLB. Early this year, it announced an expansion into China via a joint venture with private equity firm Hillhouse Capital.