Fanatics hires chief financial officer for sports betting division ahead of launch

Andrea Ellis has been appointed Chief Financial Officer of Fanatics Betting & Gaming.

Source: Fanatics

Fanatics is one step closer to launching its highly anticipated sports betting division, nearly five years after the Supreme Court struck down the rule preventing states from legalizing betting on sporting events.

The sports platform and e-commerce company, which has been valued at more than $27 billion, announced on Tuesday that it has hired Andrea Ellis as chief financial officer of its betting and gaming division. Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said last week that the company plans to launch the unit in January.

Fanatics are entering a crowded market in an uncertain economy at a time when some executives say it’s ripe for consolidation. Still, Rubin is betting that the company’s e-commerce success will translate into sports betting customers.

Ellis brings technology, product and operations expertise to the Fanatics leadership team. She has worked as CFO at Lime, the largest electric scooter and bike share company, for the past two years. Previously, she worked with the owner of Burger King Restaurant brands.

At Fanatics, she will be responsible for scaling the new division and providing strategic and operational leadership, the company said.

She will report to Matt King, CEO of Fanatics Betting and Gaming, who previously served as CEO of FanDuel. “We are delighted to welcome Andrea to our team as we move closer to the official launch of a dynamic new online sports betting and gaming product for fans,” said King.

A January launch would coincide with the highly lucrative NFL playoffs. By the start of the football season next fall, Fanatics plans to be operational wherever it is legal to do business.

“We’ll be in every major state other than New York where you can’t make money,” Rubin said at a Sports Business Journal World Congress of Sports event. Last fall, Fanatics applied for a mobile betting license in New York, but was unsuccessful.

Rubin predicts that Fanatics’ sports betting and other business segments “could represent $8 billion, even over the next decade, in profits.”

With over 50 sports betting operators emerging in recent years, led by Beat-belonging to FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars and BetMGM (co-owned by MGM Resorts and entain), Fanatics is late to the party. The fight for market share is intense and the first sportsbooks to be licensed often say they see first mover advantage.

FanDuel CEO Amy Howe told CNBC at the Global Gaming Expo this month that she thinks it’s only a matter of time before the industry consolidates.

“It is not inconceivable to think that the first two or three [operators] will drive between 60 and potentially 70% of the market,” she added.

DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins said size will matter.

“I think you’ll continue to see the benefits of growing the way Amy [Howe] the company makes and mine are becoming more apparent as more states roll out and more revenue comes from the industry,” he told CNBC at the conference. gaming industry.

Size and scale make Fanatics a formidable future contender, even in the eyes of current market leaders. Thanks in large part to its vast sales network and Fanatics’ database of 94 million customers, Rubin was able to raise an additional $1.5 billion in March thanks to investments from Fidelity, BlackRock and Michael Dell.

Fanatics plans to tap into its network by using a loyalty program in all of its activities, according to Rubin: “You buy merchandise? You get an incentive to play. You play? You get an incentive to get a collectible.”

“So our patience saved us money,” Rubin said. “I prefer to let everyone spend their brains and then make money, then I come in with a big checkbook and spend money when no one else can.”

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