BetFanatics Sportsbook: The Next Online Sports Betting Powerhouse?

Michael Rubin and BetFanatics are strategically placed to become an online-sports-betting giant

BetFanatics—a recently trademarked brand name—realizes something extraordinarily important: We live in an ever-changing world, surrounded by ever-changing industries. 

Fanatics, one of the nation’s most recognized sports industry giants, has been making moves to grow its brand. And considering the recently-filed trademark, BetFanatics is the anticipated brand name of the next legalized online sports gambling mega-operator. 

It’s already the largest E-commerce sports licensing company in the world and has deals with every major sports league in the United States, including but not limited to the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS, including collegiate conferences and entities. 

Perhaps no industry is expanding as quickly as the online sports betting market—and it means a changing world across the board, up to and including SEC college football.

Many label it as the next great moneymaker in the United States, and the scramble to claim real estate in the expanding market is underway. And with the federal legalization of sports betting in the United States in 2018, Fanatics looks to be setting its sights on new ventures in the betting and gaming industry within the next couple of years. 

Interested online sports bettors located within the borders of an already legalized online sports betting state can take advantage of any of Saturday Down South‘s following mouthwatering promos:

As far as BetFanatics is concerned, the company made moves to enter the trading card and NFT market, acquiring Topps and co-founding Candy Digital. More on that later.

And it’s not just a couple of people reading the tea leaves here; there has been significant buzz surrounding Fanatics’ potential move to the sports betting market.

The industry giant was recently in talks to purchase Tipico, an international sports betting provider, as well as Kambi, a tech provider for sports betting sites with hundreds of engineers to keep the Fanatics engine chugging.

The corporation—led by magic moneymaker Michael Rubin—also moved to trademark the BetFanatics brand name. Fanatics, as of July 2022, is projected to value upwards of $27 Billion, a number that is steadily rising with each addition from the conglomerate. 

It’s a simple calculus that can only be leading one place. Before we get into the possible legitimacy of Fanatics’ recent moves, let’s get into what makes the corporation such a capable case to become the industry’s next sports betting titan.

History: What is Fanatics, Inc?

Before BetFanatics becomes a living reality, it’s important to understand the history of the Fanatics brand and why it’s strategically set up to become a giant in the legalized online sports gambling industry.

Fanatics, INC timeline:

What is Fanatics all about? Brands, mission statement and more … 

Who better to describe what Fanatics is all about other than themselves? Per Fanatics’ website, the corp. is, “ Building the leading global digital sports platform and changing the way fans purchase their favorite team apparel, jerseys, headwear and hardgoods through an innovative, tech-infused approach to making and quickly distributing fan gear in today’s 24/7 mobile-first economy.”

Fanatics’ website continues: “Operating multi-channel commerce for the world’s biggest sports brands, Fanatics offers the largest collection of timeless and timely merchandise whether shopping online, on your phone, in flagship stores, in stadiums or on-site at the world’s biggest sporting events.”

Let’s break down what that means. The most important thing to know about Fanatics is that they are official partners with just about every sports league you can think of in North America, and a legitimate presence in the global market as well. They sell officially licensed gear that is available in 11 countries with over 300 partner companies. 

They also harbor a myriad of brands that expand to all corners of a sports fan’s needs, including but not limited to hats, shirts, collectibles, trading cards and NFTs and other general merchandise. Below are some of the brands and ventures Fanatics offers. 

Mitchell & Ness

An apparel brand specializing in throwback jerseys, hats, shoes and more for primarily the NBA with selections from MLB, the NFL and MLS. The Philadelphia company was bought by fanatics on Feb. 18, 2022. Fanatics paid $250 million for the acquisition and retains 75% ownership alongside 25% celebrity ownership.

Top of the World

Fanatics continues its reach by purchasing Top of the World in 2020 via Vetta Brands. The headwear company specialized in college cap apparel. 

“The purchase of the Top of the World assets gives Fanatics Brands a turnkey center of excellence in licensed headwear, extensive apparel rights, and immediate scale to become an even more important partner to our retailers,” Joe Bozich, Fanatics brand President said in 2020. “We are proud to have saved over 200 jobs with this move and keep alive this 30-plus-year trusted brand.”

WinCraft

WinCraft is the largest industrial manufacturer of team merchandise available to retailers. The giant is an active licensee of the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, NASCAR and over 500 collegiate brands. It also produces and distributes merchandise from Disney. The company was founded in 1961 and acquired in 2020 after longtime owner and original founder Dick Pope retired.

Majestic

Fanatics made a $250 million purchase to acquire Majestic in 2017. The brand used to be the official in-game uniform supplier of MLB and now works as a subsidiary to fanatics, supplying an extensive selection of apparel for MLB, the NBA, NFL and much more.

Fanatics ‘One Stop Shop’ Mission

In early 2021, Fanatics secured a $320 million funding round, followed by another $325 million in August 2021 which brought the company’s valuation to $18 billion as of September 2021.

It was around then when CEO Michael Rubin announced that Fanatics was to become a Global Digital Sports platform instead of simply a general merchandiser. Fanatics, already one of the biggest sports industry names in the country, was broadening its horizons.

“We’ve realized we have this incredible opportunity…to really transition (from) a leading e-commerce company to building the leading digital sports platform,” Rubin said of Fanatics’ recent transition. “That means, as a sports fan, you go to Fanatics and get any sports product that’s important to you.” 

That last line Is most important in understanding why Fanatics has launched an online sportsbook campaign. Rubin’s vision is to make Fanatics a ‘One Stop Shop’ where you can bet on sports, purchase trading cards, talk shop and maybe even walk away with some of your favorite gear at any retailer when all is said and done. The company sees the value of sports and intends to wipe the floor with the vast number of resources and brands it already has at its arsenal. 

Let’s dive in.

Expansion

Fanatics, Inc is headed, as stated above, by Michael G. Rubin, owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils until 2022. 

Rubin has a vision for the Fanatics brand that he seems hell-bent on seeing come to fruition. In the past few years alone he has declared that Fanatics will be a global digital sports platform, signing deals with major professional leagues, embarking into the trading card market and, of course, maneuvering to launch a sportsbook. 

How can we tell? Let’s hop back in time to 2021. This is when a majority of Fanatics’ movements started. 

First, Rubin co-founded Candy Digital, an online NFT merchandiser that would eventually ink deals with NASCAR and racing, MLB and Netflix. One of these things is not like the other. NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are cryptographic tokens that are individual and therefore scarce by nature, creating allure among collectors. For instance, someone could own a Fernando Tatis NFT via Candy Digital and that token can be proven to belong to you and only you, creating intrinsic value. 

The NFT market in and of itself is quite the venture. Rubin and Fanatics were far from done, though. In May of 2021, Fanatics filed for the BetFanatics name and even found and hired former Fanduel CEO Matt King to run Fanatics’ gambling and gaming ventures.

Fanatics site labels King as the following: 

“As the Chief Executive Officer at Fanatics Betting and Gaming, Matt is responsible for navigating Fanatics’ entrance into the online sports gambling and iGaming businesses. He brings decades of industry experience and has a proven track record of providing safeguards for consumers and upholding responsible gaming initiatives.”

King served as FanDuel’s Chie Financial Officer and was previously an insurance broker. He grew FanDuel’s revenue from $120 million to nearly $2 billion in just a few years.

Upon his resignation, King released the following: 

 “It has been a privilege to lead FanDuel over the last four years through what has been an incredibly exciting period for the company. With FanDuel well positioned for the next chapter of its growth and always an entrepreneur at heart, now is the time for me to take on new opportunities as the next step in my career.”

Fanatics also inked a deal with Jay-Z, the music mogul and business owner and founder of Roc Nation. 

This is the latest venture for Jay-Z and a seemingly surprising one, but he is renowned as a very successful businessman. He was successful with Tidal, a podcast and music streaming service, and was already an investor in Fanatics. 

But even with the additions of King and JAY-Z, Fanatics is a long way from setting up shop and offering their service in time for the 2022-23 professional sports season. The logistics side of things is still left unchecked. 

There are many ways of doing this, but acquisition seems to be the easiest for the company worth upwards of $25 billion. 

Let’s see what Fanatics has been up to.

Fanatics’ Potential TIPICO Acquisition: Why and What does it mean?

For any successful venture, you need a means of entry into the market. 

It’s easily equitable to what the XFL and other Non-NFL leagues have tried to do for years. Professional football is a product dominated by the NFL, the same way professional basketball is dominated by the NBA and so on. For startups like BetFanatics (even with a multi-billion dollar net value, yes they are still considered a startup) competing with the titans of industry such as DraftKings and FanDuel is no easy task. 

Acquiring or purchasing an existing sportsbook with databases to target customers, an already founded consumer base and a bugless, tested platform is essential and likely the route that BetFanatics, with all its money, would take in the first place. 

And that’s just what they seem to be doing. According to several reports, Fanatics is maneuvering to purchase the online gambling operator. 

Tipico is a small online gambling platform that has launched in New Jersey and Colorado, with plans to expand to Iowa, Indiana and Ohio.

Kambi

Fanatics will need the technology to make its transition into an online sportsbook as seamless as possible, and Kambi seems to be floating to the top of the options pool. 

Kambi, according to its website, is a, “leading independent provider of premium sports betting technology and services to the regulated global betting and gaming industry. The trusted partner to more than 30 operators on six continents, Kambi not only provides a first-class sports betting experience but acts as an incubator for operator innovation and differentiation thanks to our data-driven sportsbook core and flexible technology.”

Another reason this move could be attractive to Fanatics is Kambi’s work with rival companies, which would be forced to be uprooted upon purchase. 

Fanatics’ Sports Betting Entry Timeline

How To Bet On Sports: Common Practices

Betting on sports can be daunting at first. Here’s a guide on how to get started. 

1. Pick your sportsbook

There are many potential sportsbooks to choose from. Below are a few popular online options (potentially including BetFanatics soon!)

2. Register

If you are in a legal state to do so, follow the links above or from any of your selected sportsbooks and register. Expect to give personal information, including but not limited to address, phone number and a photocopy of your ID.

3. Place your bets!

It’s important to make sure you are educated on how to place bets responsibly, the minimum bet requirements for sports books and how to properly choose your correct lines. 

Many sites offer first-time promotions, such as ‘No-sweat’ bets: essentially betting without the risk to allow players a feel for how the system operates. It also keeps the daunting nature of sports betting from deterring new coming players.

Below, you can find some of the most popular types of bets that most, if not all, sportsbooks offer. Familiarizing yourself with this and the ways each are played will best set you up for success in your wagers.

General Types of Sports Bets Available

Once BetFanatics launches, bettors will be able to wager a number of specific ways, including:

5 Current Popular Sportsbooks 

Let’s say BetFanatics isn’t the sportsbook for you, trust us there are plenty more options. In today’s mad dash to climb the mountaintop and be king of the sportsbook market, there are plenty of alternatives that can suit any bettor – sometimes you just have to do some digging. 

(Writer’s NOTE: I added the promos and link for each site below. I trust someone can make it look much cooler than I can on the page.)

Caesars Sportsbook

Caesars Sportsbook holds the title of the largest retail sportsbook in America and is proving to be one of the most rapidly expanding as well. That’s a scary sight for any competitor, but according to some, slower data loading than others listed.

In any event, Caesars Sportsbook is the best of the best, as it represents Saturday Down South’s preferred mobile sportsbook app choice.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook online sportsbook is currently available in 17 states and has quickly launched itself into being one of the titans of the industry. DraftKings offers one of the most popular online sportsbooks in the country and offers a comprehensive selection of ways to bet. If it’s diversity you’re looking for, DraftKings is probably your ‘best bet.’

FanDuel Sportsbook

If you’re a casual bettor, FanDuel Sportsbook is likely the sportsbook for you. The company’s online site is easy to interact with and makes things quick and painless – it is also one of the largest in the nation with a 42% share of the sports betting market.

Barstool Sportsbook

It’s likely you’ve heard of Barstool, the entertainment company with…controversial practices that has quickly risen the ranks in both the media and gaming world. From a sportsbook marketplace perspective, they’re like the new kid that is really good in a pick-up basketball game. 

BetMGM

BetMGM is one of the top sportsbooks in the nation and the largest iGaming operator across the U.S. BetMGM trumps the others in experience and knowledge alone, known for great in-house odds.

BetFanatics FAQ

When Will BetFanatics launch? 

That remains an unknown, but it is presumed sooner rather than later. The moves Fanatics has been making recently signify that.

What is Fanatics?

Fanatics is a sports industry giant specializing in apparel, merchandising and perhaps gaming in the near future.  

When was Fanatics founded? 

1995 by Alan Trager in Jacksonville, Florida.

Where will BetFanatics be available? 

This all depends on how BetFanatics (pending) will enter the market. If it were to buy Tipico, it could enter New Jersey and Colorado and move from there, perhaps into Iowa and Indiana as rumored.

How old do I have to be to wager on sports? 

It depends on the state all but four U.S. states require a bettor to be 21 years of age. In Alaska, Idaho, Minnesota and Montana you can place a bet at age 18.

Can Fanatics really compete in the online sportsbook market? 

Absolutely. If Fanatics can find a means of entry (such as acquiring Tipico), its resources and presence in the sports industry gives it the tools to be a sports betting and gaming giant. 

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