Michael Rubin, CEO of Fanatics, a major minority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, is selling its stake in Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment Company, which owns the Sixers and New Jersey Devils, team officials told ESPN on Wednesday.
Rubin, who is said to have a 10% equity stake in HBSE, is splitting his 11-year stake in the NBA and NHL franchises as his fictional business expands into sports betting and individual player participation.
Fanatics is a 20 billion company that sells licensed business and college goods online. The expansion of sports betting and the negotiation of individual partnership deals with professional athletes has led to many conflicts with the rules of collective bargaining.
Prior to the Sixers-Brooklyn net trade in February, Rubin questioned NBA rivals about having a close relationship with guard James Harden. Rubin can now enter into an external financial partnership as part of the team owner with the rejected players, a route that could be beneficial for the Sixers as they work to re-sign Harden.
Josh Harris, HBSE’s founding and managing general partner, said in a statement: “I am very grateful for their many years of participation. His passion, entrepreneurial mindset and strong commitment to do the right thing has left an indelible mark on the Sixers organization.
“Michael will always be a member of our HBSE and Sixers family, present at Courtside and be a key partner in our collective commitment to becoming a force for good in Philadelphia.”
David Blitzer, HBSE co-founder and co-managing partner, said: “Michael is a visionary and innovator who helps us grow HBSE and show the way to future success. He is an incredible friend and business partner. Over the past 11 years, work ethic, passion and ability to bring people together have helped establish them as one of the most influential and successful leaders in the industry.
“Michael has used these qualities to bring about positive, inspiring change, growth and development in our society. I look forward to seeing Michael make a radical revolution as he prepares for this new chapter in his career. It’s unlocking its full potential by connecting with businesses, sports fans and verticals around the world. “