Fanatics Rides Pandemic Sales Boom To $12.8 Billion Valuation

On the strength of its big sales gains, Fanatics got a big show of support from current investors, principally Silver Lake along with Fidelity, Neuberger Berman, Franklin Templeton, Blackstone, Thrive Capital and Major League Baseball to the tune of $320 million in a new funding round. That gives Fanatics a valuation of $12.8 billion, roughly twice what it was only six months ago. Another big reason for their bullishness: Fanatics, whose founder and executive chairman Michael Rubin is also a part-owner of the N.B.A.’s Philadelphia 76ers, is about to make a big play for China. Last month, Fanatics announced 50-50 joint venture with Hillhouse Capital, an Asian private equity firm, to enter the sports licensed product market in China. Read more at Fortune.