Fanatics, the world’s largest seller of licensed sports merchandise, revealed on April the 7th that the NFL was the “single biggest investor” in the latest round announced by the company. The deal signed a 50% increase in Fanatics’ valuation, going from $18 billion to $27 billion.
According to the sports merchandising giant, the NFL wasn’t the only sports organization involved in this fundraising, as other major investors were Major League Baseball (MLB) and its owners, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), National Hockey League (NHL), Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai via his fund Blue Pool Capital, and the Qatar Investment Authority.
Fanatics is leading a diversification strategy that transformed it quickly into a multi-platform company including new commercial offers such as NFTs, trading cards, and sports betting. “With the latest financing, leagues, players’ associations and team owners now own approximately 10% of the business — which can be viewed as serious validation of the company and the direction in which it is headed. Institutional investors include BlackRock, Fidelity and MSD Partners, as well as some existing backers”, techcrunch.com underpins. “Fanatics projects it will reach a staggering $5 billion in revenue this year. That’s up from $2.2 billion in revenue in 2017 when it closed on $1 billion in funding led by SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund. At that time, it was valued at $4.5 billion.”