Pivotal Player: Fanatics Brings Sports Merchandise to Fans and Secures $150 Million in Equity Funding
Most Americans root for their hometown teams – even if they live in a different city or region of the country. As such, it is difficult for displaced fans to purchase official licensed merchandise in their local retail stores. How can a Redskins fan purchase a Robert Griffin III jersey if they live in San Diego?
Provider of back-end e-commerce and merchandise fulfillment for professional sports teams and leagues, Fanatics, Inc., recently announced that it has expanded its e-commerce footprint by acquiring Dreams, Inc. Through the acquisition, Fanatics now has a consumer online retailer of licensed sports products under its belt, which will allow any displaced fan to purchase their favorite team’s merchandise online.
In addition, Fanatics closed a $150 million equity investment led by Insight Venture Partners, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, as well as a $75 million line of credit from Bank of America.
According to the executive chairman of Fanatics, the combination of Fanatics and Dreams, as well as the confidence in its business reflected by the recent funding, the company is expecting to achieve revenue of $1 billion in 2013.
By expanding its business model to consumer e-commerce – along with the significant infusion of cash – Fanatics pulled off a pivotal play that makes them the dominant provider of licensed sports merchandise on the web.