Sources: Steiner Sports Laying Off Workers After Fanatics Acquisition
Fanatics recently acquired Steiner Sports assets, and Steiner on Tuesday filed a pubic notice that all 60 employees at its N.Y. offices "were getting fired," with layoffs set to begin Aug. 29, followed by a "complete shuttering of the company" by Oct. 29, according to sources cited by Richard Morgan of the N.Y. POST. The sale "came as a complete surprise" to its "controversial" Founder & CEO Brandon Steiner. Most of Steiner's inventory and intellectual property "had been sold" to Fanatics Founder & Exec Chair Michael Rubin, though Steiner had recently been telling staff that a deal was "in the works" to sell Steiner’s business to Legends. Steiner himself had "no control over the sale of his company, having sold it to Omnicom" for $25M in '00. A source said that Omnicon "had been quietly shopping the sports memorabilia unit, which had been losing money for several years." After selling to Omnicom, Steiner remained Steiner Sports’ public face, and sources said that he had "planned to stay on after the company’s presumed sale to Legends." Fanatics had "scooped up the company’s intellectual property and inventory" for less than $10M. Sources said that the deal "does not include Steiner Sports’ contracts with individual athletes" like Giants QB Eli Manning, Patrick Ewing and Yankees P CC Sabathia, which will stay with Omnicom (N.Y. POST, 6/13).