Jay-Z
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Fanatics continues acquiring brands — this time with investment from hip hop moguls.

If you’re going to buy pretty much anything related to sports in the future, there’s a good chance your money will be headed to Fanatics.

They are already the biggest producer of MLB, NBA and NFL jerseys. Fanatics won, in part, the deal to produce replica jerseys for Major League Baseball (then partnering with Under Armour) in 2017 and then bought Majestic, the previous producer of jerseys.

Nike subsequently jumped in and took over the on-field jerseys when Under Armour backed out.

Fanatics was valued late last year at around $18 billion. And, over the past year, the company has inked deals with MLB, the NBA and NFL — and their respective players associations — to become the sole licensed producer of trading cards for each sport.

That deal led to Fanatics acquiring Topps’ entertainment assets as well, keeping that brand tied to Major League Baseball card production into the future. Topps celebrated its 70th year as a partner of MLB in 2021.


On Friday, news broke that Fanatics is getting into the throwback game.

Buying another company

According to reports, Fanatics is buying vintage team jersey maker Mitchell & Ness for around $250 million. But they aren’t alone in this acquisition.

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin partnering with rappers Jay-Z, Meek Mill and Lil Baby and Maverick Carter on the purchase. According to the NY Post, the D’Amelio family (TikTok stars) are also part of the investment group.

Mitchell & Ness has been in business since 1904 and is now best known for making throwback jerseys. They have been acquired twice in the past 15 years, however. Adidas bought the company in 2007 and then sold the company to Juggernaut Capital Partners for (reportedly) about $50 million in 2016.

Tab has written about MLB, the NHL and the NFL for more than a decade for publications including The Fourth Period, Bleacher Report and La Vida Baseball. He is the author of two books about the Chicago Blackhawks and has been credentialed for the MLB All-Star Game and postseason and multiple Stanley Cup Finals. He is the co-host of the Line Drive Radio podcast.