The world’s largest seller of licensed sportswear is turning its attention to the T-shirts, hoodies and other apparel sold at music concerts and festivals, and online.
Fanatics recently hired former Warner Music Group executive Dan Goldberg to be its first senior vice president of music and entertainment development. Goldberg, who started last week, has been tasked with helping billionaire Michael Rubin’s company explore a new area of licensed apparel.
Fanatics sees opportunity in a music landscape that is currently very fractured. Most musical acts sell limited items through their own official sites, part of larger single-artist deals that include wholesale, licensing and pop-up shops at concerts and festivals. Some major labels have online stores that combine products from multiple acts, but there is no comprehensive central hub (as Fanatics brings to sports) to shop the biggest names in music.
Entertainment, therefore, presents a bigger challenge for Fanatics than U.S. sports, which is dominated at the top by a few major leagues and then a few hundred college teams. Fanatics built its sports empire first through licensing deals, then by adding design speed, production capabilities and its own product lines.
Rubin’s company, recently valued at $12.8 billion, is currently exploring new business verticals that leverage its database of 80 million sports fans, its licensing expertise and its relationships with teams and venues across the country. In the past few months Fanatics has made a handful of big-name hires outside of its traditional merchandise business, including former Dodgers executive Tucker Kain, former FanDuel CEO Matt King and former IAC CFO Glenn Schiffman.
Goldberg spent seven years as senior vice president of Warner Music Artist Services, overseeing the group’s merchandising, ecommerce, ticketing, hospitality and fan club businesses. Before that he was vice president of Warner’s 360 operations. He previously ran new business development for Warner-owned Roadrunner Records.