The worldwide leader in licensed sports merchandise is officially making its push into the ever-growing online sports betting space. After many months of uncertainty surrounding the situation, it was revealed on Monday, May 23, 2022 that the popular retail brand, Fanatics, had submitted an online filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in hopes of securing the name ‘BETFANATICS‘ for its future iGaming endeavors. The trademark request was not the first filing by the athletic apparel behemoth – the brand also filed three other trademark applications back on October 14, 2021. Among those three filings were ‘Fanatics,’ ‘Fanatics Sportsbook,’ and ‘Fanatics Casino,’ however it does not appear that the company has settled on an official name just yet.
Following the most recent news regarding the BETFANATICS trademark attempt, Fanatics chief commercial officer Ari Borod confirmed that the brand is still weighing all of its options when it comes to naming its newest entity. Borod concluded his statement by making it clear that the Fanatics brand will remain at the forefront in some capacity: “you can expect we would want to leverage the Fanatics name.” Many believe the brand could look to purchase and take over another sportsbook in order to make up for the lost time in the industry, but it ultimately remains to be seen which direction the company is going to go.
Check out the rest of this page for everything there is to know regarding the BetFanatics Sportsbook brand, including all updates, projected launch dates, promotions, banking options, and much more.
Top BetFanatics Sportsbook promo code
Since BetFanatics Sportsbook hasn’t been fully realized yet, we’re still in the dark on what the best BetFanatics promo code might be – and the kind of BetFanatics bonus offers that the brand will bring to market. With that being said, knowing the stature of the brand, we expect it to be impressive.
Keep an eye out for a healthy deposit bonus, or risk-free bet, or possibly even a BetFanatics free bet. As soon as we know more we’ll let you know.
Details of the BetFanatics trademark filing
When further broken down, a few details regarding the BetFanatics trademark can be extracted from the 623-word filing that was revealed on May 23, 2022. According to the document, the company plans to eventually roll out a downloadable mobile application that would be used for a combination of sports betting and gaming, fantasy sports leagues, sports programming and information, previews, alerts, replays, webcam feeds, statistics, and much more. The company also mentioned the idea of attaching a loaded iCasino to its offering, including options such as online poker, table games, slots, and bingo, among many other classic casino games.
The trademark filing occurred just a few weeks after the brand had reportedly acquired source coding from industry-leader Amelco, which would’ve enabled Fanatics to begin building its own sports betting platform. Despite multiple sources confirming the news, Fanatics came forward and denied having any deals in place.
With the trademark of #BetFanatics, the Jay-Z-backed company is one step closer to making its sports betting debut.
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) May 24, 2022
Fanatics CEO Rubin divests from 76ers, Devils
While we don’t know for sure when BetFanatics Sportsbook will launch in the United States, taking into account context clues we can surmise that it’s getting closer. On June 22nd, 2022, NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, also known simply as Woj, broke the news via twitter that Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin was in the process of selling his ownership stakes in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
Rubin has owned a roughly 10% stake of Harris-Blitzer Sports Entertainment for the last decade, the company that controls both franchises. The move to sell is directly correlated with Fanatics entrance into the sports betting sector. There are myriad potential conflicts that are associated with owning both a pro team, and a sportsbook that is accepting wagers and actively engaging in partner agreements with players.
Selling these ownership assets will allow Rubin, and the Fanatics brand to seamlessly launch the BetFanatics Sportsbook platform without potential hangups. Plus, the combined value of both the 76ers and the Devils is estimated at well over $3 billion, meaning the 10% stake will fetch a pretty penny.
In what U.S. sports betting markets will BetFanatics be available?
Despite making major waves since announcing its plans to enter the bookmaking fray, BetFanatics Sportsbook has yet to acquire market access or licensing in any U.S. markets. The brand’s name has, however, surfaced in both New York and California talks.
BetFanatics makes moves towards Maryland
On June 23, 2022, the Maryland Lottery became the first state to grant Fanatics approval for a sports betting facility operator license in the state. Little is known about this future BetFanatics sports betting facility in Maryland, including its location, but we’ll keep you posted as more information is made available. This retail facility will also serve as a platform to launch the BetFanatics online sportsbook in Maryland.
Online sports betting in Maryland has yet to take off. Their ballot measure was officially green-lit in 2020, and the Maryland governor signed the bill into law in May 2021 – but the state is still waiting for online betting to take shape. When online sports betting in Maryland does finally get going, expect BetFanatics to be in the mix. Keep your eyes on Q4 2022.
BetFanatics New York on hold, for now
The company’s first known attempt at obtaining market access targeted New York in August 2021, months before the state would launch its online sports betting market in January 2022. Fanatics was mentioned as a partner in one of six applications submitted. Joining them would be Kambi, the primary applicant, and Penn Sports Interactive, the sports betting division of Penn National Gaming and operator of the Barstool Sportsbook. Backed by massive investments from rapper Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Major League Baseball, a customer database of more than 83 million sports fans, and a valuation of $18 billion at the time, it seemed as though Fanatics was in position to get the green light from New York.
Unfortunately for Fanatics, their bid was rejected, leaving both themselves and the Barstool Sportsbook out of New York until further notice. Kambi managed to acquire a bid of its own after its second consortium involving five major operators (Caesars Entertainment, PointsBet, Wynn Resorts, Rush Street Interactive, and Genting) was approved instead of its application with Fanatics and Penn National.
With all nine New York bids occupied, Fanatics will have no choice but to wait for the state to expand its total number of operators if they wish to enter the state. Considering the number of New York operators directly affects the state’s tax rate on mobile sports betting, it could be a very long time until an opportunity in the Empire State opens back up for BetFanatics NY.
California could be a possibility
Around the same time Fanatics submitted its application for New York, a super-group initiative involving the brand was brought to the table in California in hopes of reaching the November 2022 ballot. The proposal, dubbed the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act, was headlined by three of the nation’s leading bookmakers in BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel, while receiving additional support from Bally’s, Fanatics, Penn National (Barstool Sportsbook), and WynnBET.
Along with including a $100 million initial fee for all commercial operators and a $10 million annual renewal fee, the proposal also stated that any commercial operator that wishes to apply must already offer mobile sports betting in at least 10 other states – a requirement that Fanatics does not currently meet. It remains to be seen if this caveat will hold up if the initiative is passed, but it definitely presents a bit of a problem for Fanatics if they choose to tackle California solo.
In order to have a chance at reaching the ballot, the committee behind the proposal needed to collect at least 997,139 signatures by June 30, 2022. The group crushed their goal with ease, reporting an estimated 1.6 million signatures collected on May 3, 2022. If approved by the California Secretary of State, the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act could end up making the ballot this Fall. If everything goes as planned, California could be an early target for BetFanatics.
BetFanatics sports betting all-star team
The up-and-coming commercial operator made its first of many big-splash hires back in July 2021 when they successfully poached CEO Matt King from FanDuel. About one week prior, BetFanatics also brought in former Los Angeles Dodgers executive Tucker Kain, who now serves as the second direct report to executive chairman Michael Rubin.
That same month, King made his first two hires, bringing in a pair of experienced sports betting minds from respective competitors in former Action Network COO and FanDuel VP Ari Borod, and former Barstool Sportsbook head man Scot McClintic. Since each of those hires, both King and Borod have delved into their own personal connections and brought in even more talent from within the industry – hopefully setting up BetFanatics for a successful debut.
BetFanatics mobile app
While no images or details regarding the BetFanatics Sportsbook mobile app or website have surfaced just yet, we expect the brand to rollout a world-class offering by the time it’s all said and done. One of the most important ways to not only draw in, but keep a customer active is to provide them with an easy-to-use, attractive platform that includes everything from the most common sports markets to the industry’s most popular banking options. Backed by Michael Rubin and Jay-Z, two entrepreneurs with an eye for success, there is little doubt that BetFanatics will step up to the plate when it comes to their mobile application and desktop product.
BetFanatics sports markets
While the brand has yet to unveil any sort of mobile app or website just yet, users can expect to find all of their favorite sports markets over at BetFanatics, wherever and whenever they launch. The full list of available games, leagues, and events will ultimately vary depending on which state you live in, but players should be able to place some action on any of the following sports markets once the platform goes live:
- Baseball (MLB)
- Basketball (NBA, NCAAB)
- Football (NFL, NCAAF)
- Hockey (NHL)
BetFanatics Sportsbook bet types
Again, nothing is confirmed at the moment, but it should be expected that BetFanatics will bring to the table a loaded menu of different bet types. As we’ve already seen with the evolution of bigger brands such as FanDuel, it really pays to offer as many betting options as possible. Whether it involves player props during football season, a first basket scorer in the NBA, or the over/under in a baseball game, BetFanatics Sportsbook is likely to cover everything:
- Moneyline bets
- Spread bets
- Totals (Over/Under)
- Round Robins
- Player Props
- Live Betting
- Same Game Parlays
BetFanatics banking options
Much like the projected sports markets and bet types listed above, it’s safe to assume that BetFanatics will round out its mobile application and website with a full suite of industry-standard banking options. Based on the deposit and withdrawal methods offered by the rest of the nation’s top brands, players can expect some variation of the following banking options once BetFanatics makes its official debut:
- VIP preferred e-check
- Online bank transfer
- Credit/Debit card (VISA/Mastercard)
- Apple Pay
- Play+ prepaid card
- Wire transfer
- PayNearMe (select retailers)
- Cash at the casino cage (varies by state)
Fanatics brand history
The company might be relatively young in the sports betting space, but Fanatics has been dominating the apparel side of the sports world for a number of years now. The brand first surfaced in 1995 when a pair of brothers, Alan and Mitch Trager, opened a retail apparel shop in the Orange Park Mall located near Jacksonville, Florida. The store was called ‘Football Fanatics’ and was tailored towards local sports fans, mostly offering licensed gear for the NFL’s brand new 1995 expansion team, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Two years later in 1997, the brothers opened their second brick-and-mortar store, this time at the Avenues Mall in Jacksonville.
Internet boom grows the brand
By 2000, in an effort to gain a presence in the online retail space, the company would hire its first ever e-commerce employee. The brand’s heavy focus on the internet undoubtably attributed to its success in the early 2000’s, using partnerships with established websites to help grow the Fanatics name.
The brand continued to grow over the years using this strategy, coupled with its strong affiliate marketing tactics and acquisitions of other companies. Fanatics’ first ever brand acquisition occurred in 2006 when they purchased a series of sports-related websites under the umbrella of a company called Marketsville, Inc. At one point around the time of the deal, Marketsville, Inc. had accounted for nearly 25% of Fanatics’ total online sales, largely in part due to its popular CollegeFootballStore.com domain.
Rubin gets involved
Around the same timeframe, future CEO and face of Fanatics, Michael G. Rubin, was working hard on a completely different business, which was also founded in 1995 under the name Global Sports Incorporated. After spending its first few years selling sporting goods and other items of that nature, the company expanded into other areas and was officially renamed to GSI Commerce in 2002. The same year, the brand locked up its first e-commerce deal with NASCAR – a major milestone for Rubin and co.
Nine years later in 2011, after GSI Commerce successfully acquired e-commerce rights from all of the North American professional sports leagues, Rubin officially acquired Fanatics, Inc. in a deal worth $277 million and merged his newly-acquired assets into GSI. During the same year, Rubin actually sold GSI Commerce to eBay for a whopping $2.4 billion – but quickly formed his company Kynetics after buying back Fanatics, Inc. from eBay, along with e-commerce websites Rue La La and ShopRunner.
Fanatics funding grows, lands NBA and NFL deals
About one year after the sale of GSI Commerce in June 2012, Fanatics managed to raise $150 million in funding from venture firms Andreessen Horowitz and Insight Venture Partners, thus boosting the brand’s estimated value to $1.5 billion. Exactly one year later in 2013, it was announced that another $170 million was collected by Fanatics, this time courtesy of Temasek Holdings and Alibaba Group, among others. The second round of funding officially pushed the company’s total worth up to $3.1 billion. Fanatics would eventually secure a third round of funding in September 2017, this time backed by SoftBank, the NFL and the NBA – worth $1 billion. Following this round, the brand would be valued at $4.5 billion.
On June 4, 2015, the National Basketball Association announced that it had agreed to a multiyear partnership with Fanatics. The deal would effectively hand over the keys to Fanatics and allow the company to operate the league’s brand new 25,000-square-foot flagship retail store on 5th Avenue in New York City.
By March 2016, Fanatics also locked up a longterm extension with the NFL to operate the league’s online fan shop, a move that would precede another massive development between the two parties just two years later. On May 23, 2018, Fanatics announced that it had agreed to a 10-year partnership with the NFL that would grant the brand exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute all Nike NFL adult gear, including retail sales and online at NFLShop.com. The partnership officially began at the start of the 2020 NFL regular season.
MLB, Under Armour deal falls through
On October 17, 2016, it was revealed that athletic apparel giant Under Armour had landed a monster 10-year deal with Major League Baseball that would make the brand its official on-field uniform provider starting in 2020. The deal also included Fanatics, who gained the rights to produce, customize, and sell MLB’s licensed jerseys in collaboration with UA. Under the league’s previous deal with Majestic Athletic, which spanned from 2005 until 2019, the only rights Fanatics had allowed them to design custom fan apparel.
About six months after the deal was announced in April 2017, Fanatics purchased Majestic Athletic from its parent company, VF Corporation, for approximately $225 million. The deal was essentially a move to replace Majestic after Fanatics had locked up its contract with Under Armour.
Unfortunately for Fanatics, it was reported on May 24, 2018 that MLB’s deal with Under Armour had fallen through and the league would instead be handing over its uniform rights to Nike.
MLB deal revived, this time with Nike
In a shocking turn of events, Major League Baseball released a statement on January 25, 2019, announcing a new, 10-year partnership that would officially make Nike the uniform and footwear supplier of the league starting in the 2020 regular season. Fanatics was included in the deal as well and would be tasked with manufacturing and distributing all Nike MLB gear throughout the retail community. This would include all transactions that come through MLBShop.com, each MLB club’s online shop, and any brick-and-mortar locations affiliated with the league.
Funding continues, partnerships line up
By August 2020, Fanatics was reportedly worth a whopping $6.2 billion after a $350 million E-funding round. By March 2021, the brand’s valuation nearly doubled, clocking in at $12.8 billion thanks to contributions from a series of investor firms and even Major League Baseball. That same month, Fanatics agreed to a series of exclusive memorabilia deals with legendary NFL players Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Rod Woodson to add to their stacked roster of partners.
Barnes & Noble college deal
As if running nearly every professional sports league’s online apparel shop wasn’t enough, Fanatics struck gold with a massive Barnes & Noble Education deal in December 2020. In a joint venture with popular headwear retailer Lids, Fanatics signed a longterm agreement with BNED that would allow the two companies to operate the online and retail aspects of more than 750 college bookstores. With the deal, Lids would take over all brick-and-mortar duties, while Fanatics would handle any online sales.
Sports betting, trading cards set to take over
The first known connection between Fanatics and the sports betting industry was reported on August 16, 2021 by ESPN. Both Rubin and Jay-Z headlined a group that planned to apply for an online sports betting license in New York and officially form ‘Fanatics Sportsbook.’ The group also included Kambi, the popular worldwide tech provider, and Penn National Gaming, parent company of the Barstool Sportsbook and owner of countless casinos across the nation. The Fanatics Sportsbook application also mentioned its strategic partnership with Carter’s Roc Nation as a major market advantage.
August 2021 proved to be a monumental month for Fanatics, as just three days later on August 19th it was announced that the brand would be taking over for Topps as Major League Baseball’s official trading card partner. For the first time since 1951, the iconic card brand that baseball fans have grown to love over the years would no longer be featured on packs and boxes of cards. The deal was originally set to begin ahead of the 2025 MLB season, however Fanatics went ahead and outright purchased Topps for an estimated $500 million in January 2022, allowing them to begin production immediately.
Just a few days later on August 24, it was reported that Fanatics also agreed to a deal with the NBA, NBA Player’s Association, and NFL Player’s Association that would make Fanatics each entity’s official trading card partner, similar to the company’s deal with MLB.
Fanatics’ value continues to rise
As a result of this deal, along with a $350 million funding round in September 2021, Fanatics’ total value is now up to an estimated $18 billion. The brand’s trading card empire is not too far behind, listed at a valuation of nearly $10.4 billion.
By March 2022, Fanatics’ valuation exceeded $27 billion after a $1.7 billion funding round was led by Fidelity, BlackRock, and MSD Capital LP.
Now, with a bright future in online sports betting, the arrow for Fanatics, and BetFanatics, seems to be pointing straight up.
Michael is a New Jersey-based sports writer who recently began working in the online gaming industry. He now contributes to various online publications for Better Collective. He is an alumnus of Rutgers University and avidly follows Rutgers basketball and the New York Mets.
- Top BetFanatics Sportsbook promo code
- Details of the BetFanatics trademark filing
- Fanatics CEO Rubin divests from 76ers, Devils
- In what U.S. sports betting markets will BetFanatics be available?
- BetFanatics sports betting all-star team
- BetFanatics mobile app
- BetFanatics sports markets
- BetFanatics Sportsbook bet types
- BetFanatics banking options
- Fanatics brand history