Fanatics teams up with Jay-Z and Meek Mill to buy Mitchell & Ness
Fanatics is teaming up with celebrities like Jay-Z and Meek Mill to buy sports merchandiser Mitchell & Ness.
Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Maverick Carter, Fanatics and the D’Amelio family all agree. 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 part of the sportswear ditch. I am proud to play a small part in its restoration and in some cases in 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 headwear. The company has licensing agreements 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 CEO, Kevin Wulff, remaining at the helm.
“Mitchell & Ness is an iconic and pioneering brand in our industry,” said Michael Rubin, CEO of Fanatics. “I am extremely pleased that Fanatics is partnering with this incredible group of innovative owners to build on the company’s already strong businesses that have kept the brand culturally relevant for over 100 years. Growing up in Philadelphia, we considered Mitchell & Ness a sign of pride, and I truly believe that this legendary brand knows no bounds.
Fanatics plans to merge the company’s business model with its platform and global reach. The diverse team of co-owners will help build brand awareness and secure new entertainment, league and college rights for the Mitchell & Ness brand to leverage.