Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin is selling his 10 percent stake in the company that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils to enter new business that would otherwise conflict with owning a professional sports team, Rubin said in a statement Wednesday.
“As our Fanatics business grows, so do the hurdles I have to overcome to ensure our new ventures don’t conflict with my responsibilities as part owner of the Sixers,” Rubin. said in a statement. “With the launch of our trading card and collectibles business earlier this year, which will engage in individual contracts with thousands of athletes worldwide, as well as the soon-to-be-launched sports betting operation, these new ventures will be in direct conflict with sports league ownership rules. . “
Rubin, 49, was part of an ownership group led by Joshua Harris and David Blitzer that bought the 76ers in 2011 for $280 million. The group later bought the Devils in 2013 for $320 million. Harris and Blitzer then formed Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment in 2017 to become the parent company for its various properties.
Rubin, whose fortune is estimated at 8 billion dollars. Forbessaid Yaron Weitzman of Fox Sports he began planning to sell his stake in the company within the last 18 months. During this time, By September 2021, fanatics have risen to an $18 billion valuation. – 10 years after Rubin acquired an online retailer of licensed sportswear, equipment and other goods in 2011.
Fanatics has agreements with several professional sports leagues for its licensed merchandise, but foray into sports betting and individual partnerships with athletes may be against collective bargaining rules.
“The fanatics have just reached such proportions that I can no longer manage them and officially be part of the Sixers,” Rubin told Weitzman. “No one came up to me and said, ‘Hey Michael, you need to sell.’ It was clear based on these businesses [that] we have no other choice but to sell.”
Ruby, who reportedly tried to buy the Carolina Panthers in 2018.according to Weitzman, “not interested” in buying another team in the future.
Rubin’s connection to the NBA and the 66ers
Rubin grew up watching the Sixers in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, just 14 miles from Philadelphia. He eventually met former NBA commissioner David Stern when he convinced Stern to agree to a deal between the NBA and Rubin’s former company, Global Sports Incorporated, according to Weitzman.
Rubin also has personal relationships with members of the 76ers, including Joel Embiid and James Harden, the latter of which prompted reports of a possible rigging investigation after Philadelphia acquired Harden from the Brooklyn Nets last season. The NBA never considered the claimsalthough.
“When you’re lucky enough to be part of an owner group that buys a sports franchise, you have one primary responsibility to your city – to win championships,” Rubin said in a statement. “Like all of you, I am clearly disappointed that we have not yet achieved this. However, I believe the team is very well positioned with a world class owner group led by Josh Harris and David Blitzer, a dynamic front. office and coaching staff, and an incredible group of star players who are more than ever committed to bringing the title to the city of Philadelphia.”