The King of Fanatics: Who Is Michael Rubin?

The King of Fanatics: Who Is Michael Rubin?

The King of Fanatics: Who Is Michael Rubin?

credit. Shareif Ziyadat | Filmmagic | Getty Images

Michael Rubin, the CEO of Fanatics, is a renowned internet entrepreneur, philanthropist, and social justice advocate. His impressive track record in building multibillion-dollar direct-to-consumer companies and his lifelong love of sports have led him to turn the company into a global digital sports platform, revolutionizing the fan experience across licensed merchandise verticals, trading cards and collectibles, sports betting and gaming, live commerce, as well as sports and collector fan events.

The Rise of a Visionary Leader

Michael Rubin started in business by starting GSI Commerce, which he sold to eBay for $2.4 billion later on. With Rubin's strategic vision and business savvy at the helm, Fanatics has thrived and evolved into a powerhouse in the sports industry. Fanatics during that time went to great heights with Nova, winning Sports Business Person of The Year two years in a row as well as Executive Of The Year recognition in 2018, all helping to put his MVP-like status as the most influential person in sports business into cement.

The Beginning

Fanatics: A Diverse Sports Empire

Merchandise and Collectibles

From licensed sports merchandise, Fanatics has moved to acquire some top brands in the world under its umbrella: Mitchell & Ness and Lids. This has opened the door for Fanatics Commerce to make available to consumers worldwide the highest volume and broadest range of real-time, real-quality product assortment on their collective network of web and stores. Furthermore, the acquisition of the iconic hobby brand Topps has positioned the future of the trading card category in the hands of Fanatics Collectibles with breakthrough product marketing and consumer experiences.

Sports Betting and Gaming

Fanatics also jumped into the growing sports betting space with Fanatics Betting and Gaming, powered by its database of over 100 million fans. As the U.S. sports betting market has doubled to nearly 20 states between agreeing to acquire the U.S. operations of PointsBet, Fanatics has now established a significant presence in states with many of the most highly engaged sports fans to provide them with the opportunity to experience exciting, proprietary sports-themed merchandise, collectibles, and special benefits on designated wagers placed through the platform.


Live Commerce and Fan Events

The launch of Fanatics Live and Fanatics Events represent the first-ever direct-to-consumer live shopping experiences and a global sports and collector fan event network, respectively, from the company. Through these efforts they are looking to redefine the online shopping experience and make use of their exclusive access to create rare in-person experiences for fans, showing the unique power of Fanatics in the sports industry.


Championing Social Change

Michael Rubin's philanthropy isn't limited to his ventures and is obvious looking at his role in the Alliance and the Fanatics Charitable Foundation. It reflects his ongoing passion to use his platform and voice to work with others to make a difference for the better in countries around the world and to do all that can be done to improve the criminal justice system.


The Future of Fanatics

By expanding into the sports betting industry, as well as collectibles and live events, Fanatics has planted its flag as an unbeatable behemoth in sports. There are challenges and market dynamics, of course, but for Michael Rubin the long-term vision for Fanatics is straightforward. He hopes to offer the most comprehensive cross-loyalty program in sports and believes that within 10 years Fanatics could be the unrivaled industry leader. The competition is fierce, but the power of Fanatics' unique ecosystem and Michael Rubin is staying in the fans and making sure they have a great experience in all things sports.


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