Fanatics Inc. is starting a livestreaming commerce service for collectibles as looks to expand its memorabilia empire.
The company has brought on former Snap Inc. executive Nick Bell to lead the new division, called Fanatics Live. He is tasked with developing the shopping experience and content strategy.
The “breaking” of trading-card boxes, which has become a popular form of shopping in the industry, will be crucial content on the new platform. The seller, who serves as a personality and host for the livestream, opens large boxes of trading cards on camera. Only then do buyers, who have bought random items in the stack of cards, find out what they have purchased.
Typically, collectors buy small packs of cards and own all of the contents.
CEO Michael Rubin has moved into several new sectors as Fanatics reaches beyond its original focus on licensed sports apparel. Fanatics Live is an early foray into media for the company, which will focus its efforts on collectibles first before potentially working with other sections of its parent’s business, such as fan apparel.
The Fanatics Live app and site are set to debut in the second half of 2023. Fanatics is No. 36 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360’s Top 1000.
Recent Fanatics deals
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and Fanatics signed a long-term deal for ecommerce, licensed merchandise and collectibles. WWE CEO Vince McMahon said the multi-platform arrangement, the first of its kind for both parties, will “set a new standard” for his company’s merchandise business.
Months later, Fanatics acquired the trading card division of Topps Co., swallowing up its rival only months after luring away its longtime client Major League Baseball.
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