Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin Selling Stake in Company That Owns 76ers, Devils

Adam WellsJune 22, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 18: Michael Rubin speaks during the 15th Annual Sports Business Journal Awards ceremony at New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on May 18, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
John Lamparski/Getty Images

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin is selling off his stake in the group that owns that Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Rubin is divesting his 10 percent stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment because of "looming conflicts in the expansion of his Fanatics business into sports betting and individual player partnerships."

The move comes amid Fanatics' expansion into gambling with an online sportsbook on the horizon as well as its move to have individual partnership deals.

Front Office Sports @FOS

Coming soon: "BetFanatics" πŸ‘€<br><br>Fanatics has filed a new trademark application, per <a href="https://twitter.com/JoshGerben?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JoshGerben</a>, indicating plans to launch a sports betting service under the "BetFanatics" brand. <a href="https://t.co/JfzmDymjTr">pic.twitter.com/JfzmDymjTr</a>

According to Wojnarowski, those elements of Fanatics' business would create "numerous conflicts with collective bargaining rules" in all sports leagues.

There was previously some concern about Rubin's relationship with James Harden when the Sixers were being linked to the former NBA MVP.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes said in January on his Posted Up podcast (h/t Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire) that some rival executives were "prepared to get the league involved on a potential collusion case" if Harden went to the 76ers in a sign-and-trade deal during the offseason because some of them believed there was "some talk going on now between both sides."

It didn't come to that because Harden was traded to Philadelphia by the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 10.

Selling his stake in the 76ers and Devils allows Rubin to maintain his relationship with individual players and not having to worry about potential conflicts.

Josh Harris is the managing partner of the 76ers and the co-managing partner of the Devils, with David Blitzer holding the reverse roles with each franchise. They were part of an investment group that bought the Sixers in 2011 and Devils in 2013.

Harris and Blitzer founded Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment in 2017 to consolidate their existing business ventures as well as any shared future endeavors.

Rubin was an original member of the investment group that purchased the 76ers in 2011. The 49-year-old founded Fanatics that same year and is CEO of the company.