Fanatics chief executive Michael Rubin is selling his minority equity stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the National Basketball Association's Philadelphia 76ers and National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils.
Rubin is divesting his stake in the company, held since 2011, because of potential conflicts of interest as Fanatics expands into the sports betting and collectibles industries, and enters into business relationships with players from rival teams.
"When I was part of the ownership group that acquired the Sixers in 2011, Fanatics was just getting started with a small office in King of Prussia [Pennsylvania] selling only licensed sports products online," Rubin said in a lengthy statement on social media. "Today, Fanatics has quickly transformed into a global digital sports platform across multiple businesses.
"As our Fanatics business has grown, so, too, have the obstacles I have to navigate to ensure our new businesses don't conflict with my responsibilities as part-owner of the Sixers. With the launch of our trading cards and collectibles business earlier this year - which will have individual contracts with thousands of athletes globally - and a soon-to-launch sports betting operation, these new businesses will directly conflict with the ownership rules of sports leagues," Rubin wrote.The entrepreneur increased his HBSE minority ownership from two per cent to 10 per cent in September 2020.