SBD/September 23, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Fanatics Planning To Quintuple Sales To $5B Over Next Decade With Sales As Hot As Ever

Online retailer Fanatics has the "ambitious goal" of generating at least $5B in annual revenue over the next decade, up from $1B this year, according to Ken Belson of the N.Y. TIMES. The company, which is the nation's "largest online seller of licensed sports merchandise," runs the online shops of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, the PGA Tour and more than 150 college and pro teams. The company's "success is based on fast access to more than one million items." Fanatics Exec Chair Michael Rubin to better serve fans is "expanding the selection of goods on Fanatics.com, which makes up about half of the company’s sales, and on the hundreds of sites that it runs for leagues, colleges and conferences." The "one-stop-full-price shopping model has worked well for the leagues, which share an undisclosed percentage of the sales of their licensed goods with Fanatics." Rubin said that merchandise for colleges and the NFL "run neck and neck in sales and are well above all the other leagues." The NBA, which said that its online sales had "tripled since Fanatics began running its online shop in 2007, did not disclose its sales figures, but Rubin said it was 'a $100 million retail business for us.'" Fanatics has "hired 600 full-time employees and thousands of seasonal workers in its call centers, warehouses and Web design divisions, and it recently opened a 580,000-square foot distribution center in Ohio that is similar to its facilities in Jacksonville and Louisville." The company "plans to add a distribution hub" in the western U.S. in '14 or '15 to "speed delivery to fans there" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/21). Rubin, who is also a 76ers investor, is featured in this week's issue of SportsBusiness Journal as part of the "Sit-Down" series.

FANZZ ACQUIRES JUST SPORTS: In Utah, Jason Lee reports the Jazz-owned Fanzz sports apparel stores are "acquiring Just Sports, a retail chain of licensed apparel stores based in the Pacific Northwest." Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Fanzz upon completion of the deal will "employ more than 900 people, including approximately 225 full-time workers." Jazz CFO and Fanzz President Bob Hyde said that projected sales for the combined entity "could top" $100M annually with the addition of the new stores (DESERET NEWS, 9/23).
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