‘The Athletic’ Names Bryn Mawr Billionaire Michael G. Rubin Its Sports Businessperson of the Year
Bryn Mawr billionaire Michael G. Rubin, CEO of Fanatics, Inc. (the Jacksonville, Fla., online sports clothing-collectibles company), has been named 2022 Businessperson of the Year by The Athletic. Bill Shea profiled Rubin’s distinction in the sports business category.
Rubin was lauded for his visionary approach, one that took licensed college- and pro-player apparel and merchandise to new levels.
In 2022, Rubin expanded his reach with new deals and acquisitions, particularly in the trading-card business.
A major milestone was Rubin’s maneuver to have Fanatics buy The Topps Company. Since its 1938 founding, this N.Y. market leader has supplied baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, and nonsports trading cards to generations of fans.
Rubin is expanding the line to include college trading cards.
Other 2022 highlights for Fanatics were a:
- Trading card deal with WWE
- College-team fan apparel line through Nike
- Collegiate football player jersey program
Next on Rubin’s roster is BetFanatics, a sports gambling enterprise. He is now navigating its regulatory maze, complicated by individual state law, to move ahead.
“He’s definitely a massive player,” commented Larry Mann, an industry observer who is also executive vice president at rEvolution, a Chicago-based sports marketing and media agency.
“[Fanatics] is the Amazon of sports buying,” he said.
More on Fanatics and its honored CEO is at The Athletic.
This 2021 feature on Topps baseball cards traces its history and impact, prior to the 2022 acquisition by Fanatics, Inc.
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