Aug 10, 2021 - Economy

Sports retailer Fanatics raises $325 million from SoftBank, others

Fanatics Signage

Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Fanatics

Fanatics, an online retailer of licensed sports merchandise, has raised $325 million from SoftBank, Silver Lake, Eldridge, TWG Sports Media & Entertainment, Insight Partners, MLB, Jay-Z, and Roc Nation at an $18 billion valuation, per media reports and sources confirming to Axios.

Why it matters: The financing comes as Fanatics expands its focus to include areas like digital products, with executive chairman Michael Rubin taking over as CEO of the expanded company. Candy Digital, the NFT company it helped set up, will be part of Fanatics.

The bottom line: "Fanatics expects to generate about $3.4 billion in revenue this year, up from $2.6 billion in 2020. ... About 80% of Fanatics’ revenue comes from sales to consumers from or the more than 300 team and league sites the company operates," the Wall Street Journal's Meghan Bobrowsky writes. "The company is profitable, a representative said."

Go deeper