Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, the prominent minority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, is selling his stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment that owns The Sixers and the New Jersey Devils, it was announced Wednesday.
Robin, who sources say owns 10% of the stock in HBSE, is giving up his 11-year stake in the NBA and NHL franchises due to looming struggles expanding his fanatical business into sports betting and single-player partnerships.
“As our Fanatics business has grown, we have also faced hurdles that I have to overcome to ensure that our new business does not conflict with my responsibilities as part-owner of The Sixers,” Rubin said in a statement. “…Given these facts, I am unfortunately going to sell my Sixers stake and go from partial owner to lifelong fan.”
Fanatics is a $20 billion company that sells licensed career and college goods online. The expansion of sports betting and the negotiation of individual partnership deals with professional athletes creates many conflicts with the rules of collective bargaining.
Before the Sixers-Brooklyn Nets trade involving guard James Harden In February, Robben came under scrutiny from his NBA rivals due to his close relationship with Harden. Rubin can now enter into external financial partnerships with players who were turned down because Rubin was a partial team owner, a method that could come in handy for the Sixers as they work to re-sign Harden.
“Given Michael’s tremendous success in growing fanatics into a global platform across every major sport, his decision comes as no surprise,” HBSE founder and general managing partner Josh Harris said in a statement. “I am so grateful for his years of partnership. His intense passion, entrepreneurial mindset and unwavering commitment to doing the right thing have left an indelible mark on the Sixers organisation.
“Michael will always be a member of the HBSE and Sixers family, and he will be present on the court and a key partner in our collective commitment to being a force for good in Philadelphia.”
David Pletzer, co-founder and managing partner at HBSE, said: “Michael is a visionary and innovator who has played an instrumental role in helping us grow and setting HBSE to succeed in the future. He has been a wonderful friend and business partner for the last 11 years whose years, instincts, work ethic, passion and ability have helped He brought people together in establishing him as one of the most influential and successful leaders in the industry.
“Michael has used these same traits to help us develop and grow, all while becoming an engine for positive and inspiring change in our communities. As he prepares for this new chapter in his career, I am excited to watch Michael revolutionize business fanatics, unleashing their full potential by connecting lovers Sports from around the world through many new platforms and sectors.”
“Student. Incurable problem solver. Amateur baconaholic. Introvert. Infuriatingly humble music fanatic.”