Home / Articles / Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin to sell stake in Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment, which owns 76ers, Devils - The Athletic

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin to sell stake in Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment, which owns 76ers, Devils - The Athletic

Rubin's sports retail behemoth Fanatics is reaching new athlete deals and beginning a new gambling and betting division that interfere with the leagues’ team ownership rules.

  • Posted on 22nd Jun, 2022 14:19 PM
  • 1484 Views
Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin to sell stake in Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment, which owns 76ers, Devils - The Athletic Image

Entrepreneur Michael Rubin is selling his 10 percent share in Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment — which owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils — as his sports retail behemoth Fanatics reaches new athlete deals and begins a new gambling and betting division that interfere with the leagues’ team ownership rules.

Over the past few years, Rubin, the executive chairman of Fanatics, understood that it was in his and the company’s best interests that he sells his pro sports ownership stake as Fanatics expanded, sources said. Those with knowledge of Rubin’s decision understood Fanatics’ growth into new sectors made this transition inevitable.

Fanatics developed into a sports-merchandising giant and has turned into a global business, now including deals with individual players across the pro leagues within the company’s new trading card and collectibles business. Fanatics will soon launch a gambling vertical as well; another factor as to why the business became a conflict for Rubin as he served as an NBA and NHL team owner.

The sale of Rubin’s equity will close imminently.

“Given Michael’s tremendous success growing Fanatics into a global platform across every major sport, his decision doesn’t come as a surprise,” HBSE co-founder Josh Harris said. “I am so grateful for his years of partnership. His fierce passion, entrepreneurial mindset and steadfast commitment to doing the right thing have left an indelible mark on the Sixers organization.

“Michael will always be a member of our HBSE and Sixers family, continue to be a presence courtside and a key partner in our collective commitment to be a force for good in Philadelphia.”

“Michael is a visionary and innovator who has played an integral role in helping us grow and position HBSE for future success,” HBSE co-founder David Blitzer said. “He has been an incredible friend and business partner over the last 11 years and his instincts, work ethic, passion, and ability to bring people together have helped establish him as one of the industry’s most influential and successful leaders.

“Michael has used those same attributes to help us evolve and grow, all while becoming a driver of positive, inspiring change in our communities. As he prepares for this new chapter in his career, I’m excited to watch Michael further revolutionize the Fanatics business, unlocking its full potential by connecting sports fans from around the world through a multitude of new platforms and verticals.”

Rubin, who has a net worth of $8 billion according to Forbes, has no plans to buy into another ownership group in the future.

“Michael’s commitment, passion and business acumen have greatly benefited the 76ers and the NBA but Fanatics’ opportunity to build a global digital sports platform by moving into new and emerging businesses makes team ownership impractical for now,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with Michael on expanding Fanatics’ partnership with the league.”

Rubin was awarded Sports Business Journal’s 2022 Executive of the Year award in May, and it’s believed throughout the industry that his stature as one of the most powerful individuals in pro sports only increases as he moves away from the team ownership side. He could potentially help the 76ers more than ever as a super fan who no longer has the shackles of being an owner limiting his ability to tap into his wide array of relationships and power.

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin to sell stake in Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment, which owns 76ers, Devils - The Athletic View Story

Latest 20 Post