Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin is selling his stake in the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils

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Michael Rubin attends the Fanatics Super Bowl Party on February 12, 2022 in Culver City, California.

Shareif Ziyadat | Filmmagic | Getty Images

Billionaire Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin announced Wednesday that he is selling his 10% stake in the parent company that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, citing a conflict of interest with Fanatics collectibles and planned sports betting operations.

Rubin has no plans to buy into another team after selling his stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, a person familiar with the matter told TSWT. Instead, he focuses on Fanatics, the sports e-commerce company that since 2011 has grown into a global operation with a $27 billion valuation.

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“When I was part of the ownership group that acquired the Sixers in 2011, Fanatics was just starting out with a small office in King of Prussia selling only licensed sports merchandise online,” Rubin said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Today, Fanatics has rapidly evolved into a global multi-company digital advertising platform, with over 10,000 employees in 57 countries and serving nearly 100 million sports fans worldwide.”

Fanatics’ growth has been fueled in part by its acquisitions in recent years of WinCraft, which makes sports-themed merchandise, and Topps, the trading card company it bought for $500 million.

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The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS and some players’ unions all have stakes in Fanatics, which owns extensive licensing rights and deals with professional and college athletes.

Topps recently announced that it will launch a new line of trading cards featuring college athletes this fall, a program that will include more than 150 schools and cut some of the players on profits.

“I had the incredible opportunity to be part of the ownership group buying the team I idolized as a kid,” Rubin said in his statement. “Watching games, getting to know our players and looking inside has been one of the most exhilarating and educational parts of my life.

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– TSWT’s Jessica Golden contributed to this article.

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