Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin’s star-studded Hamptons party brought together A-List celebrities and athletes for one of the year's most high-profile affairs. With the media attention Rubin’s party garnered, it is of little surprise Fanatics is expanding into the live event space with a new venture merging sports and collecting.
Fanatics announced today it is partnering with IMG to start Fanatics Events, providing fans and collectors with curated experiences of both local and national appeal. The partnership opens Fanatics Events to Endeavor’s global network, who is handling event services for the next three upcoming Olympic Games. IMG Events president Paul Caine looks forward to bringing his company’s expertise to help with international reach.
“We are excited to partner with Fanatics to produce best-in-class experiences for sports fans everywhere,” Caine said via e-mail. “Fanatics Events will be super-charged by the full power of Endeavor’s flywheel, global network and events expertise to deliver once-in-a-lifetime moments that fans will remember forever.”
Heading Fanatics Events will be former ReedPop president, Lance Fensterman. The new CEO has tremendous experience organizing large-scale events including New York Comic Con and PAX. He intends to bring all elements of pop culture, sports, and collecting to this creative enterprise.
“The launch of our new Fanatics Events business provides an opportunity to celebrate all aspects of fandom — including sports, collectibles, memorabilia, fashion, music, and entertainment — under one physical roof in a way that has never been done before,” Fensterman said via e-mail. “Fanatics is uniquely positioned to innovate the live event landscape, and these new touchpoints will reinforce our commitment to enhancing the overall experience for fans and collectors globally.”
While Fanatics Events has the potential to create an enormous scope of productions around many sports culture aspects, some collectors wondered on social media what the new company would mean for an established player like Tristar Productions.
Susan Lulgjuraj, former Topps communications manager and current CGC marketing manager posed a question on Twitter about The National's future if Fanatics restricted its athletes to only Fanatics Events.
In its press release, Fanatics stressed they will first focus on collectibles by improving upon the current experience at live gatherings. If new collectors can be engaged with more meeting places among hobby enthusiasts, Fanatics Events feels it will be better positioned to expand into shared culture events with athletes, celebrities, and musicians. Its first live fan event is intended to take place in 2024.