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Volume 26 No. 207
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Fanatics Acquires Steiner Sports Assets, Including IP And Inventory

Fanatics has purchased some of the assets of Steiner Sports, including most of its inventory and some intellectual property, from Omnicom Group. Notably, the deal includes the memorabilia company’s name. It does not include Steiner’s athlete contracts, which in most cases do not automatically transfer under new ownership. Steiner employees were notified of the deal by email over the weekend. Sources said Steiner Sports Founder & CEO Brandon Steiner will not be working for Fanatics. Steiner could not be reached for comment, though earlier today he sent out a mass email saying he would “no longer be accepting” email at his Steiner Sports address. At least one senior Steiner exec, CFO and VP/Operations Robert Duffy will be working for Omnicom. Sources said Fanatics' plans for use of the Steiner name were not yet determined. While the deal is done, there will be a 60-day transition period. Legends was in talks to acquire Steiner earlier this year. Sources said that deal cratered in part because of a disagreement on the value of Steiner’s memorabilia inventory. Agency holding company Omnicom acquired Steiner in '00 for $25M. However, Omnicom has been looking to sell Steiner for some time, especially after the memorabilia market nosedived following the '08-09 recession. Fanatics over the past decade has built a memorabilia business in excess of $100M under the Fanatics Authentic brand, with the help of the acquisition of Dreams Inc./Mounted Memories in '12.