Fanatics announced Thursday that it launched a new livestream shopping platform and has hired former Snapchat exec Nick Bell to lead the unit.
Previously leading the team responsible for the Google Search experience and serving as Vice President and Global Head of Content and Partnerships at Snap, Inc., Bell now heads the Fanatics Live business unit, which focuses on live content-based commerce. I will serve as the new CEO. He reports to Mike Mahan, CEO of Fanatics Collectibles.
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Fanatics said in its release that Bell and his team are primarily working with brand partners in collectible spaces, including leagues, players associations, and other properties, to “deepen collaboration” and create “highly curated appeal.” “We will provide unique content” and “provide personality-driven entertainment.” ” live on his stream to fans tied to his shopping.
The company added that Fanatics Live will become a separate entity within the Fanatics portfolio, primarily servicing the collectibles business. There may be future opportunities for Fanatics Live to expand into other parts of the Fanatics ecosystem, but he added that the focus for the foreseeable future is on Collectibles.
One of the areas Fanatics Live explores is ‘breaking’. This is a form of social buying in which individuals purchase “spots” from sellers who publish entire cases of trading cards online.
Fanatics added that “Breaking” has become an important part of the trading card industry, opening up new business opportunities for entrepreneurs and allowing creators to build their own platforms and communities. Giving collectors more access to products. Encouraged social engagement and connection within the hobby.
According to the company, Fanatics Live will take an app-first approach with a matching website, with plans to launch in the second half of 2023.
The news comes just a month after Fanatics landed another big investment in December, reaching a current valuation of $31 billion.
The sports merchandising company has raised nearly $700 million in a recent funding round led by new investor Clearlake Capital. Along with LionTree, existing investors Silver Lake, Fidelity and Softbank also participated in the round.
The investment caps off a busy 2022 for ecommerce sites. Fanatics acquired the lifestyle brand and jersey maker Mitchell & Ness from Juggernaut Capital Partners in February, along with other investors. Fanatics also acquired trading card business Topps for his $500 million in January.
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