Fanatics, the global platform company, recently held its second investor day in nearly a year as the company quietly moves closer to an initial public offering. Over 100 existing and prospective institutional investors from major firms such as Goldman Sachs and Barclays gathered Tuesday for the meeting at the NBA Players Association headquarters in New York to hear from Fanatics founder and CEO Michael Rubin. Another 300 people attended the meeting virtually on Zoom. Leaders from all parts of the business gave presentations and took part in a Q&A session with the audience.
Tom Brady Makes a Surprise Appearance
Investors were also treated to a surprise visit by football great Tom Brady, an investor in the company. Brady spoke to investors about business and leadership and mingled with the audience.
Florida-based Fanatics was founded in 2011 by Rubin, former co-owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Fanatics now has exclusive licensing deals with the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and colleges and universities to make and sell official team merchandise. The company has experienced rapid growth and made several acquisitions in the past couple of years, including Topps trading cards and clothing brand Mitchell & Ness.
Fanatics Eyes Sports Betting
The company most recently has had its eyes on sports betting, scooping up PointsBet’s U.S. assets for about $150 million in May. A spokesman for Fanatics said the company’s timeline for an IPO hasn’t changed. In April, the company announced it was hiring Deborah Crawford from Meta to lead investor relations, a new position at the company. Fanatics is currently valued at $31 billion.
Fanatics has made several moves in the past year to prepare for its IPO. Last November, Rubin gathered sell-side analysts to talk about his growth plans for the company. The recent investor day is another indication that the company is gearing up for a public debut. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Fanatics has continued to see strong demand for its licensed merchandise and is poised for continued growth in the years ahead.