Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, a prominent minority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, is selling his stake in the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment company, which owns the Sixers and New Jersey Devils, he announced Wednesday.
Rubin, who sources say has a 10% stake in HBSE, is divesting his 11-year stake in the NBA and NHL franchises due to looming conflicts in the expansion of his Fanatics business to sports betting and individual player partnerships.
“As our Fanatics business has grown, so have the obstacles I have to navigate to ensure our new businesses do not conflict with my responsibilities as a Sixers co-owner,” Rubin said in a statement. “… Given these realities, I’ll unfortunately sell my stake in Sixers and switch from part owner back to lifelong fan.”
Fanatics is a $ 20 billion company that sells licensed professional and college products online. The extension to sports betting and the negotiation of individual partnership agreements with professional athletes creates many conflicts with rules for collective bargaining.
Prior to the Sixers-Brooklyn Nets deal with guard James Harden in February, Rubin was investigated by NBA rivals for his close relationship with Harden. Rubin can now enter into external financial partnerships with players who were denied because Rubin was a part owner of the teams, a path that could prove beneficial to the Sixers as they work to re-sign Harden.
“Given Michael’s tremendous success in growing Fanatics into a global platform across all major sports, his decision does not come as a surprise,” said HBSE founder and CEO Josh Harris in a statement. “I am so grateful for his years of partnership. His passionate passion, entrepreneurial spirit and steadfast commitment to doing the right thing have left an indelible mark on the Sixers organization.
“Michael will always be a member of our HBSE and Sixers family, continuing to be a court presence and a key partner in our collective commitment to being a force for good in Philadelphia.”
Said HBSE co-founder and co-managing partner David Blitzer: “Michael is a visionary and innovator who has played an integral role in helping us grow and position HBSE for future success. He has been an incredible friend and business partner for the past 11 years. years and his instincts, work ethic, passion and ability to bring people together have helped establish him as one of the industry’s most influential and successful leaders.
“Michael has used the same qualities to help us develop and grow, while at the same time being a driving force for positive, inspiring change in our communities. As he prepares for this new chapter in his career, I’m excited to “See Michael revolutionize the fanatics further. The business unleashes its full potential by connecting sports fans from around the world through a range of new platforms and verticals.”