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Volume 24 No. 115


In a week when online licensed sports product retailer Fanatics Inc. completed its acquisition of fellow online sports retailer Dreams, it also received an indication of its worth. A 10% equity stake from Insight Venture Partners, was purchased for $150M, meaning the biggest online licensed sports retailer has a paper valuation of $1.5B. That is not quite the $2B-plus price tag that the Dodgers fetched, but that is expected to have the same effect with those already invested in sports licensing and e-commerce looking to reassess what their businesses are worth. Fanatics, which runs e-commerce for the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR and ESPN, is projecting expected revenue of $1B in '13. Insight Venture Partners invested in Fanatics early on, cashed out and is now back with another investment. Without commenting directly on the investment, Fanatics President Jamie Davis said the money will be used to help cover some of the Dreams acquisition and to grow distribution capabilities. Davis: "The (licensing) business is still largely brick and mortar, but there are more displaced fans than ever, and when you look at the breadth of our product line, we are in a great place for growth."