Fanatics, Inc. is the creation of e-commerce visionary and former chairman and CEO of GSI Commerce, Michael Rubin. The business that Fanatics is today started within GSI with Rubin’s first sports league e-commerce deal with NASCAR in 2002. In 2011, he bought a Florida-based sports e-commerce business called Fanatics that included two brick-and-mortar stores in Jacksonville, Fla., and rolled it into GSI. That same year, Rubin sold GSI to eBay for $2.4 billion, bought back the sports ecommerce business, that by then included online stores for all the North American sports leagues along with hundreds of teams and colleges, and kept the name Fanatics for the new company moving forward.

In 2012, Fanatics added FansEdge, a sports memorabilia division and more team e-commerce partners through its acquisition of Dreams, Inc.  Since then, the company has continued to add more partnerships and multi-channel capabilities across the globe as well as introduced a vertical manufacturing model that’s disrupting the industry through an innovative, tech-infused approach to making and selling fan gear in today’s on-demand culture.

One of the first major moves came when Fanatics named Silicon Valley veteran Doug Mack as CEO in 2014, during which time the company also opened its first Bay Area office to tap into the elite technology talent pool in that area.  Mack immediately began transforming Fanatics from a domestic e-commerce expert into a new breed of retailer – a mobile-first, vertically based multi-channel company – by putting more of an emphasis on manufacturing, omnichannel retail, data and technology.

Fanatics went global in 2016, acquiring UK-based international online retailer Kitbag to begin its foray into the lucrative global football (soccer) landscape, while also offering easy access to a wide assortment of North American-based sports apparel to fans worldwide.

To keep up with the company’s tremendous growth, in May 2017 Fanatics acquired leading sports apparel company Majestic, greatly expanding manufacturing, distribution and wholesale capabilities worldwide. Later that year Fanatics closed a $1 billion funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the largest tech fund in history, which identified Fanatics as one of the technology-rich companies helping to shape the future of commerce worldwide.

What began as a single e-commerce deal in 2002 has grown into the global leader of officially licensed sports merchandise, providing the ultimate shopping experience to sports fans worldwide whether buying fan gear online, on a phone, in stores, in stadiums or on-site at the many of the world’s biggest sporting events.

Although large in size and spread out across the world, 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

June 2013

Fanatics raises $170M in a new funding round led by Temasek Holdings and Alibaba Group, raising the company’s valuation to $3.1B.

April 2014

Doug Mack named CEO of Fanatics – the ecommerce innovator and Silicon Valley veteran places added emphasis on data, mobile and technology as the backbone for the company’s next phase of growth.

April 2014

Fanatics opens first Bay Area office to tap into elite Silicon Valley talent pool.

January 2015

Fanatics announces 10-year deal to run all at-track retail for NASCAR.

June 2015

Fanatics signs 17-year deal to operate all aspects of MLB’s e-commerce business.

August 2015

Fanatics raises $300M from Silver Lake Partners.

December 2015

Fanatics opens NBA flagship store on 5th Ave in New York City – a tech infused, multi-channel shopping experience that provides fans with the ultimate selection of basketball merchandise.

February 2016

Fanatics acquires UK-based internet retailer Kitbag to accelerate focus around international expansion and global soccer.

March 2016

Fanatics extends NFL e-commerce deal and adds fan merchandise rights to be able to create products around ‘micro moments.’

July 2016

Fanatics opens new 50,000 sq ft West Coast HQ in San Mateo, bringing together more than 300 employees spread across the Bay Area under one roof in the heart of Silicon Valley.

October 2016

Fanatics signs long-term manufacturing deal with NHL that covers a broad range of exclusive NHL apparel and headwear rights, including official replica jerseys and hot market merchandise for the Stanley Cup Playoffs – all starting with the 2017-18 season.

November 2016

Fanatics and Uber team up to deliver Cubs World Series championship merchandise throughout Chicago immediately following the team’s historic victory that broke the 108-year drought – average delivery time was under 8 minutes. This led to many more real-time delivery partnerships between Fanatics and Uber.

December 2016

MLB announces innovative 10-year merchandise deal that splits the rights between Fanatics and Under Armour which let’s both companies do what they do best – Under Armour to provide cutting-edge on-field apparel for players and marketing for the league, while Fanatics provides fans with the most responsive and significant merchandise assortment ever available.

January 2017

Fanatics signs 10-plus year apparel deal with the NBA that includes exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute the league’s official replica jersey starting with the 2017-18 season.

May 2017

Fanatics completes acquisition of VF Corporation’s Licensed Sports Group, which includes sports brand Majestic – combines Fanatics’ innovative, design-centric and tech-infused approach to fan gear with Majestic’s decades-long reputation of product quality and proven retail distribution to create a full-service design, manufacturer, retailer and wholesaler of licensed sports merchandise.

September 2017

Fanatics closes $1B funding round lead by SoftBank’s Vison Fund, the largest tech in history that is looking to invest globally in transformative technology companies and disruptive entrepreneurs.  The funding round also included significant investments from the NFL, MLB and NFLPA.

October 2017

Fanatics acquires Fermata Partners to create robust offering of brand and retail services to elevate and transform the college licensed sports business.

November 2017

Fanatics signs long-term fan gear and retail deal with MLS to expand their e-commerce relationship and manage the league’s licensed sports merchandise business.  MLS also announced an equity investment into Fanatics.

November 2017

Fanatics extends NHL licensing rights to 2034, adding broader set of rights that includes manufacturing and distributing the league’s premier ‘Center Ice’ collection and all name & number apparel.  The new agreement also makes Fanatics the exclusive distributor of fan gear and headwear to the sporting goods retail channel.

December 2017

Fanatics is named Sports Business of the Year by Yahoo Finance.