PHILADELPHIA (TUSEN) — Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin announced Wednesday that he is retiring from Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. Rubin, a prominent owner of the Sixers, is selling his stake in the team, which is 10%, according to ESPN.
Rubin sells his stake amid disputes in the expansion of Fanatics, a $20 billion-plus company that sells sports apparel, sports equipment and licensed merchandise.
—Michael Rubin (@michaelrubin) June 22, 2022
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Fanatics is set to launch individual contracts with thousands of athletes and a sports betting operation. Both are in direct conflict with sports league ownership rules.
“Given these realities, I will unfortunately sell my stake in the Sixers and transition from co-owner to lifelong fan,” Rubin said in a statement.
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ESPN reports that Rubin’s departure could benefit the Sixers as they work to resign James Harden this offseason.
“Rubin can now enter into outside financial partnerships with players who were turned down because Rubin co-owned the teams, an avenue that could prove beneficial to the Sixers as they work to re-sign Harden,” Adrian wrote. ESPN’s Wojnarowski.
Rubin has held his stake in the team since 2011.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 22, 2022
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“Given Michael’s tremendous success in making Fanatics a global platform across all major sports, his decision comes as no surprise,” said HBSE Founder and Managing Partner Josh Harris. in a press release. “I am so grateful for his years of partnership. His fierce passion, entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering commitment to doing the right thing left an indelible mark on the Sixers organization.