Michael Rubin is no longer a 76ers limited partner.
Rubin is selling his stakes in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment -- which oversees the Sixers and the New Jersey Devils -- according to an HBSE spokesperson. The billionaire has grown his business at the Fanatics to the point where there are conflicts that make it difficult for him to remain in team ownership with the different collective-bargaining agreements in the NBA and NHL.
Rubin is the founder and chief executive of Fanatics, which is valued at $27 billion. He recently entered into the trading card and collectibles business. Other areas that pose a conflict with the leagues involve the Fanatics having direct marketing partnerships with professional athletics. Those partnerships will continue as with the addition of the trading cards and collectibles business. The company also plans to start a gaming and betting division. None of these conflicts were present when Rubin bought into a minority share of the Sixers in October 2011 while Fanatics was still in its early stage.
The 49-year-old Lafayette Hill, Pa. native recognized for some time that he would have to sell his stakes. With the NBA season over and the Stanley Cup Final ongoing, Rubin felt now was the time to formalize his decision.
“Given Michael’s tremendous success growing Fanatics into a global platform across every major sport, his decision doesn’t come as a surprise,” said Josh Harris, Sixers managing partner and co-owner of HBSE, in a statement. “I am so grateful for his years of partnership. His fierce passion, entrepreneurial mindset and steadfast commitment to doing the right thing have left an indelible mark on the Sixers organization. Michael will always be a member of our HBSE and Sixers family, continue to be a presence courtside and a key partner in our collective commitment to be a force for good in Philadelphia.”
Rubin still intends to sit courtside at Sixers games.
He also has a great relationship with Sixers stars Joel Embiid and James Harden. Sources have said Rubin was instrumental in the Sixers acquiring Harden from the Brooklyn Nets in February’s blockbuster trade.
Also in February, Rubin was part of a group that will purchase vintage team jersey maker Mitchell & Ness.
Rubin, through the Fanatics, teamed up with rappers Meek Mill, Jay-Z, and Lil Baby, along with sports-marketing businessman Maverick Carter and Tik Tok’s D’Amelio family, to purchase Mitchell & Ness. Multiple reports have the purchase price at $250 million.
Fanatics will reportedly own 75% of the company while the other investors will combine to own the rest.
“Michael is a visionary and innovator who has played an integral role in helping us grow and position HBSE for future success,” said David Blitzer, the Sixers co-manager partner and HBSE co-owner, in a statement. “ ... As he prepares for this new chapter in his career, I’m excited to watch Michael further revolutionize the Fanatics business, unlocking its full potential by connecting sports fans from around the world through a multitude of new platforms and verticals.”