Bryn Mawr resident Michael Rubin, the CEO of Fanatics and co-owner of the 76ers, has been named the most influential person in sports business, writes Terry Lefton for the Sports Business Journal, a sister publication of the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Rubin, who grew up in Lafayette Hill and graduated from Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, has been a disrupter in the sports industry for the last decade. He transformed the merchandising model in a relatively sleepy sports licensing business into one that follows the rules of digital commerce.
This includes an emphasis on direct-to-consumer, vertical manufacturing capabilities and acquisitions of some of the largest licensees. He also ensured to administer both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar operations for a number of the largest properties.
This made him a polarizing figure, agitating many in the industry where the majority of the largest companies were still owned by their founders. However, within a decade, nobody can deny that Fanatics controls sports licensing.
And as it grew its customer base, Fanatics also amassed a data warehouse of 80 million names.
Now, Rubin is using it to enter businesses no one could imagine Fanatics would compete in, including gambling, ticketing, media, NFTs, and trading cards.
“He creates value where no one sees any,” said Atlantic League President Rick White.
Read more about Michael Rubin in the Philadelphia Business Journal.