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Deyan Dimitrov December 18, 2023 2 min read
Fanatics May Be Positioning Itself to Go Public in 2024
Recent reports indicate that the company is making steady progress toward its IPO goal despite its hesitation to share any official confirmation
The potential public offering comes on the heels of two investor days this year, fueling previous market rumors suggesting a possible IPO debut for the Florida-based merchandise and media giant. The company’s successful foray into sports betting highlighted its successful diversification efforts as it built upon its partnerships with high-profile leagues like the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB.
Recent Developments Offer Intriguing Insights
Despite Fanatics’ conspicuous silence regarding the matter, several developments hint at an impending IPO. The company’s April appointment of Deborah Crawford, a seasoned executive with a track record in investor relations at Meta Platforms, Ancestry.com, and Netflix, signals extensive preparations to weather investor scrutiny. This move makes little sense without plans to go public.
The company’s valuation soared to $31 billion following a $700 million capital raise in December 2022, positioning it as a potential frontrunner for one of the largest IPOs in the upcoming year. Fanatics has leveraged its impressive growth to fuel an acquisition spree in recent years, purchasing trading cards specialist Topps and iconic clothing brand Mitchell & Ness.
Exclusive licensing agreements with major sports leagues like the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and various colleges and universities form another cornerstone of Fanatics’ business strategy, bolstering all the company’s verticals. Fanatics’ broader push into the lucrative US sports wagering arena is perhaps its most ambitious project, attracting significant stakeholder attention.
The Company’s Debut Will Represent New Opportunities
Fanatics recently acquired PointsBet’s US operations for $150 million, signaling its intent to delve deeper into the US sports betting landscape. The company has already launched the Fanatics Sportsbook app in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Tennessee, capitalizing on growing interest in the sports betting sector.
Despite Fanatics’ substantial investments in the sports wagering sector, it faces significant competition from established betting giants like BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel. The launch of ESPN Bet also poses a substantial challenge, diverting some of the attention away from its debut. However, the company remains confident in its ability to capitalize on its internal synergies and reach new audiences.
As the buzz surrounding Fanatics’ potential IPO gains momentum, industry observers and investors await the company’s official announcement, positioning it as a noteworthy event in sports and finance for the upcoming year. Fanatics has been understandably reluctant to share additional details, but its extensive preparations and impressive momentum leave little room for doubt regarding its intentions.