Fanatics taps FanDuel CEO Matt King for sports betting and gaming venture
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Fanatics, the licensed sports merchandise giant, has hired FanDuel CEO Matt King as it looks to expand into online sports betting and gaming, The Post has learned.
King, who announced his resignation from the sports betting company on May 12 and agreed to stay on until his successor is hired — has lately been in discussions with Fanatics founder and billionaire Michael Rubin, according to multiple sources.
As a result, Rubin has put King in charge of the company’s gambling and gaming venture, the sources said. Fanatics has been laying the groundwork for its expansion beyond merchandise and into gaming for several months now, according to the sources.
Fanatics declined to comment and King did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In May, King said in a statement, “It has been a privilege to lead FanDuel over the last four years through what has been an incredibly exciting period for the company. With FanDuel well positioned for the next chapter of its growth and always an entrepreneur at heart, now is the time for me to take on new opportunities as the next step in my career.”
Rubin, who is a partner in the Philadelphia 76ers as well as a partner in the ownership group that controls the New Jersey Devils and a UK premier league soccer team, has been on a tear raising $320 million most recently for Fanatics, which is valued now at $12.8 billon.
The e-commerce giant is the largest sports-licensing company in the world and has deals with all of the major sports leagues, including Major League Baseball and the National Football League as well as numerous professional and collegiate teams and players.
“Fanatics has very deep data on their consumers, which is incredibly valuable to anyone who wants to reach a sports fan,” said sport industry consultant Joe Favorito.
Indeed, Fanatics controls a database of more than 80 million sports fans.
King is not the only executive Fanatics has tapped for its foray into sports gambling.
The company just hired Tucker Kain, president of business enterprise for the Los Angeles Dodgers, to help it “expand beyond merchandise,” according to a Sportico report.
While Kain was hired to help the company identify other opportunities, he is working in a broader role and will not be at the gaming division under King, sources told The Post..
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