Partners Network

Gear & Apparel

Las Vega, Nevada

A Background on Fanatics

Michael Rubin has built Fanatics into a sports merchandising powerhouse. Back in 1998, he started an apparel and logistics company called Global Sports Incorporated. This later evolved into GSI Commerce, an e-commerce company that he grew into a multi-billion dollar business. 

In 2011, Rubin acquired Fanatics from the Trager brothers. At the time, Fanatics was already a leading online retailer of gear for pro and college teams. Rubin merged it into GSI and then sold GSI to eBay for $2.4 billion that same year. 

After the sale, Rubin bought back the sports e-commerce part of the business and rebranded it as Fanatics, Inc. Since then, he has aggressively grown Fanatics through funding rounds, high-profile partnerships, and acquisitions of rivals like Dreams Inc.

Their key deals include:

  • 2012: Raised $150 million from Insight and Andreessen Horowitz, acquired Dreams Inc. for $158 million
  • 2017: Closed $1 billion round led by Softbank. Signed deals with major leagues and players’ associations. 
  • Acquired Fermata Partners to accelerate college licensed gear business.

In April 2017, Fanatics made a big move to boost its manufacturing capabilities by acquiring Majestic Athletic, who had been the official provider of MLB uniforms. The company bought Majestic from its parent company, VF Corporation. This allowed Fanatics to start producing MLB uniforms and apparel in-house.

Fanatics has grown into a powerhouse in the licensed sports merchandise and apparel industry under the leadership of Michael Rubin. Through strategic decisions and partnerships, Rubin has guided Fanatics from its early roots to surpassing $2 billion in annual revenue today. 

The Sports Leagues Fanatics Work With

  • MLB
  • NHL
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • MLS
  • Formula 1