Fanatics will own 75% of the company, and the deal is reported to be worth a total of $250 million.
Mitchell & Ness is the industry leader in pristine throwback jerseys and nostalgic sports merchandise, but the iconic Philadelphia-born brand is moving into the future with new faces at the helm.
Mitchell & Ness is set to be acquired by a group of investors led by Fanatics, Jay-Z, Maverick Carter, Meek Mill, and Lil Baby. The D’Amelio family — of TikTok and Hulu fame — are also part of the new ownership group.
The deal is worth $250 million, per Sportico, which also reported that Fanatics will own 75% of the company and the other investors will combine for the other 25%.
Sportico added that Mitchell & Ness’s $350 million in revenue last year included $70 million in profit. Its previous owner was Juggernaut Capital Partners.
“Mitchell & Ness is an iconic brand and a pioneer within our industry,” Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said in a statement. “I’m incredibly excited for Fanatics to partner with this incredible group of innovative owners to build upon the company’s already strong business that has kept the brand culturally relevant for more than 100 years. Growing up as a kid in Philadelphia we looked at Mitchell & Ness as a badge of pride, and I truly believe this legendary brand has no limit.”
Jay-Z also released a statement (h/t Billboard):
“Fashion is cyclical, but classics are forever. Mitchell & Ness is a true classic. I was an early adopter of this brand, as well as a part of a departure from athletic wear. I’m proud to play a small role in bringing it back, and in some cases, introducing the authenticity and quality of the Mitchell & Ness brand to a new generation.”
And Meek Mill can’t contain his excitement on Twitter:
Jay-Z, and his Roc Nation empire became an investor in Fanatics last summer during a fundraiser that surged the brand’s value to $18 billion, as reported at the time.
Rubin and Meek Mill also have history, as the two are both from Philadelphia and have developed a close friendship since meeting for the first time at the 2015 NBA All-Star Game. (Rubin is a co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers.)
In January 2019, following Meek’s 2018 release from an unjust prison sentence, Jay-Z, Meek, and Rubin launched REFORM Alliance. Last December marked the organization’s first-ever Reform Night at Wells Fargo Center, home to the Sixers. Lil Baby and the D’Amelio sisters made special guest appearances.
In this new venture, these powerful influential figures are managing to expand their already global reach. The aim is to usher Mitchell & Ness into a new generation of sports fandom as “a separate, distinct brand” under Fanatics’ commerce umbrella.