Fanatics is teaming up with celebs like Jay-Z and Meek Mill to purchase sports merchandiser Mitchell & Ness.
Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Maverick Carter, Fanatics, and the D’Amelio family are all in on the deal. Juggernaut Capital Partners is selling the lifestyle brand, which it acquired from Adidas in 2016.
“Fashion is cyclical, but classics are forever,” Jay-Z said in a statement about the deal. “Mitchell & Ness is a true classic. I was an early adopter of this brand, as well as a part of a departure from athletic wear. I’m proud to play a small role in bringing it back, and in some cases, introducing the authenticity and quality of the Mitchell & ness brand to a new generation.”
Mitchell & Ness was founded in 1904 and is the go-to place for nostalgic sports jerseys, street fashion, and headgear. The company has licensing deals with the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS, and several NCAA schools. Fanatics will own 75% of Mitchell & Ness, with the rest in the hands of the celebrity group. The deal values the lifestyle brand at $250 million. It will continue to operate as a separate division of Fanatics, with its Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Wulff, remaining at the helm.
“Mitchell & Ness is an iconic brand and pioneer within our industry,” says Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin. “I’m incredibly excited for Fanatics to partner with this incredible group of innovative owners to build upon the company’s already strong business that has kept the brand culturally relevant for more than 100 years. Growing up as a kid in Philadelphia, we looked at Mitchell & Ness as a badge of pride, and I truly believe this legendary brand has no limit.”
Fanatics plans to merge the company’s business model with its platform and global reach. The diverse team of co-owners will help spread brand awareness and gain new entertainment, league, and college rights for the Mitchell & Ness brand to exploit.