PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin announced on Wednesday that he’s stepping away from Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. Rubin, a prominent owner with the Sixers, is selling his equity stake, which is 10%, according to ESPN.
Rubin is selling his stake due to conflicts in the expansion of Fanatics, a company worth more than $20 billion that sells licensed sportswear, sports equipment, and merchandise.
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— Michael Rubin (@michaelrubin) June 22, 2022
Fanatics is moving to launch individual contracts with thousands of athletes and a sports betting operation. Both directly conflict with the ownership rules of sports leagues.
“Given these realities, I will sadly be selling my stake in the Sixers and shifting from part-owner back to life-long fan,” Rubin said in a statement.READ MORE: 21-Year-Old Woman Killed After Disgruntled Patron Fires At Least 15 Shots Into Northeast Philadelphia Bar, Police Say
ESPN reports that Rubin’s departure could benefit the Sixers as they work to re-sign James Harden this offseason.
“Rubin can now enter outside financial partnerships with players who were disallowed because Rubin was a part-owner of the teams, an avenue that could prove beneficial to the Sixers as they work to re-sign Harden,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote.
Rubin has owned his stake since 2011.
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— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 22, 2022
“Given Michael’s tremendous success growing Fanatics into a global platform across every major sport, his decision doesn’t come as a surprise,” HBSE founder and managing general partner Josh Harris said in a statement. “I am so grateful for his years of partnership. His fierce passion, entrepreneurial mindset and steadfast commitment to doing the right thing have left an indelible mark on the Sixers organization.”