Fanatics’ Michael Rubin: ‘We Can Be No. 1’ Global Sports Betting Brand

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Fanatics’ dominance in sports licensing didn’t matter to the New York State Gaming Commission. But failing to land a mobile sports betting license isn’t deterring chairman Michael Rubin as Fanatics’ quest to join the sports betting industry continues.

Fanatics partnered with Penn National Gaming (Barstool Sportsbook) in its bid for a New York license. The state issued nine mobile sports betting licenses, but the Fanatics/Penn National pairing wasn’t selected.

Rubin, however, told Sports Business Journal that Fanatics may one day dominate sports betting across the globe.

“We can be the No. 1 player in the world in that business in 10 years,” Rubin told SBJ ahead during Super Bowl week in Los Angeles. “That does seem ambitious for someone who’s not in the business today, but our strategic advantages are that we are one of the best-known digital sports brands and we touch so many fans.

“There’s been so much money lost in this business, but we will be deliberate and I’m bullish on it being one of our key long-term businesses.”

Sports Betting The Next Frontier For Fanatics

On its corporate homepage, Fanatics Inc. bills itself as “the ultimate one-stop sports fan destination that ignites and harnesses the passion of fans and maximizes the presence and reach for more than 900 sports properties globally.”

Citing a database with the names and contact info for “more than 81 million global consumers,” Fanatics Inc. says its offerings will eventually include sports betting and gaming. In addition to apparel, Fanatics recently acquired trading card manufacturer Topps. Fanatics has also considered getting into the sports ticketing marketplace.

For now, Rubin’s focusing on entering the sports betting industry. And Rubin told the Sports Business Journal that he’s not interested in acquiring a US-based platform.

“We have the team and the capital, but there’s no (domestic) businesses at their current market value that I have any interest in buying.”

While that could change if a US-based platform becomes profitable, Rubin’s goals for legal sports betting don’t stop at the US border. So, purchasing a sportsbook from outside of the US is among Rubin’s options.

“Overseas, there’s much better businesses that could be interesting,” Rubin said.

Former FanDuel Sportsbook CEO Matt King joined Fanatics as its CEO of betting and gaming in 2021 as Rubin began building that division of the company.

Also read: 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Longshots, Liability In Las Vegas | NBA MVP Odds: Giannis Offers Betting Value, Worthy Longshots Lurk | Arkansas Mobile Sports Betting Approved Ahead Of March Madness

About the Author

Mark Ashenfelter

Mark Ashenfelter is a Connecticut-based sportswriter and editor who has covered everything from NASCAR to the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles. A life-long Philadelphia sports fan, in addition to Penn State football and the Baltimore Orioles, he's previously worked at ESPN, NASCAR Scene magazine and the Daily Local News in Chester County, PA.

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