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Fanatics Makes Long-awaited Leap into Sports Betting

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
In acquiring online sportsbook PointsBet’s US operation, the ecommerce giant enters a new multibillion-dollar industry.

Fanatics, long known as a major player in sports apparel, recently made waves in making an ambitious push into the world of collectibles. Now, they’re blazing a whole new kind of trail that enhances their purview in no uncertain terms.

On Sunday, CNBC was first to report that the Michael Rubin-led company had reached a deal to acquire the PointsBet online sportsbook’s US business. Several hours later, the entities released a joint statement acknowledging that they had reached an agreement for the transaction.

Multiple outlets have noted that the deal is worth in the neighborhood of $150 million in cash. Comcast-owned NBCUniversal currently holds an equity stake in PointsBet that Fanatics will purchase.

As CNBC and others have noted, the PointsBet online sportsbook operates in 15 US states as of this writing. It gives Fanatics instant access to new markets pending regulatory approval. Competing in a sports betting marketplace dominated by well-established, big-spending brands like FanDuel and DraftKings, however, was always going to be difficult. With that in mind it’s notable that Matt King, the head of Fanatics Betting, is FanDuel’s former CEO.

The news is the latest in what has been an increasingly serious wave of acquisitions from Fanatics, including major trading card manufacturers Topps and Panini. It was essentially a foregone conclusion that betting would be the centerpiece of this next stage of the company’s expansion. We now have our most important clue as to how it all could look.

PointsBet — whose existing stock is publicly traded on the Australian Securities Exchange — will convene shareholders for a vote regarding the acquisition this summer.

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About The Author
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn is the Managing Editor of Boardroom. Before joining the team, he was an editor and multimedia talent for several sports and culture verticals at Minute Media and an editor, reporter, and site manager at SB Nation. A specialist in content strategy, copywriting, and SEO, he has additionally worked as a digital consultant in the corporate services, retail, and tech industries. He cannot be expected to be impartial on any matter regarding the Florida Gators or Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter @RealFakeSamDunn.