Fanatics, Inc. is the creation of eCommerce visionary and former chairman and CEO of GSI, Michael Rubin. The result of combining Jacksonville-based Fanatics with GSI’s former online sports merchandise business and Dreams, Inc., has made Fanatics the global leader for officially licensed sports merchandise. In 2016, the company took another big step forward by acquiring Kitbag, a UK-based international online retailer, to accelerate both its global expansion plans and aggressive pursuit of growing the licensed sports merchandise business in football (soccer) around the world.

When it was announced in 1995 that the Jaguars would plant roots in Jacksonville, Alan and Mitch Trager got together and opened Fanatics, a brick-and-mortar storefront in a Jacksonville mall. Over the years, Fanatics sold a slew of team gear, but along the way the Tragers uncovered a much bigger opportunity — a market of displaced fans around the world who wanted merchandise to support their favorite teams. Fanatics went digital and made its first online sale in 1997.

At about the same time, Rubin started GSI just outside of Philadelphia. GSI quickly became a leading e-commerce, technology and fulfillment company, powering the online stores of all the major sports leagues. In 2011, GSI bought Fanatics and then Rubin sold the company to eBay, but held on to relationships with the leagues and Fanatics. The following year, Fanatics acquired Dreams, Inc., which included sports e-retailer FansEdge.

In 2014, Fanatics named eCommerce innovator and Silicon Valley veteran Doug Mack as CEO, replacing retiring founder Alan Trager.  Mack has transformed Fanatics from an online retailer into a mobile-first, multi-channel company by putting more of an emphasis on data and technology.

For nearly 20 years, the name Fanatics has been a distinguished brand in the licensed sports merchandise industry. What began as a single Jacksonville mall retail store has grown into the largest retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise, providing the ultimate shopping experience to sports fans worldwide.

Although large in size, Fanatics has never forgotten its humble roots and remains focused on helping fuel the passion that every fan has for the teams, schools and players they love.

Timeline

2016

The NFL and Fanatics agree to a long term deal to extend their e-commerce business and added apparel licensing rights.

2016

Fanatics buys Kitbag and expands its breadth and scope in soccer and Europe in one move.

2015

NBA store opens in New York City powered and run by Fanatics, the flagship of their onsite retail venues.

2015

Fanatics signs 17-year deal with the MLB to run their e-commerce business.

2015

New 58,000 sq ft Jacksonville headquarters at Nations Way opens.

2015

A new omnichannel shopping experience at the Fanatics NASCAR trackside superstore tent is unveiled, revolutionizing at-track purchasing for racing fans.

2014

Fanatics own brand (Fanatics Apparel) printing operations moves to a state-of-the-art facility at Bulls Bay in Jacksonville, to fulfill orders for on demand and made to order Fanatics Apparel items.

2014

Doug Mack is hired on as CEO to replace retiring Alan Trager, and the second of two west coast offices in San Francisco are opened.

2013

Fanatics opens a second state-of-the-art distribution center in Frazeysburg, Ohio and becomes a regional distributional fulfillment operation to better serve the fan.

2012

Fanatics acquires Dreams, Inc., which includes sports e-retailer, FansEdge and memorabilia giant, Mounted Memories.

2011

Rubin sells GSI to eBay, but holds on to the relationships with the leagues and Fanatics.

2011

Fanatics becomes part of the GSI family.

2010

Fanatics moves into the old Winn Dixie headquarters in Jacksonville to secure more room for an ever-growing inventory.

2007

Having outgrown its first warehouse, Fanatics moves to the Broadway warehouse.

2002

Fanatics opens it first warehouse to fulfill online orders that their two brick and mortar stores can’t sustain.

1997

Michael Rubin starts GSI just outside of Philadelphia, a leading e-commerce, technology and fulfillment company, powering the online stores of all the major sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, PGA).

1997

First online sale from Football Fanatics opens the market to displaced fans around the world who want merchandise to support their favorite teams.

1995

Jaguars debut in Jacksonville. Alan and Mitch Trager (two anxious, football-loving brothers), get together and open Football Fanatics, a brick-and-mortar storefront in a Jacksonville mall.