Fanatics’ way: how the giant retailer has been capturing the sports fans’ market

Sports is a multibillion-dollar industry. There’s no doubt about that. Sports will continue to be a multi-billion dollar industry in the future with a growth rate that will fast-pace in the forthcoming years. There’s no doubt about that either. So, isn’t it kind of natural for enterprises that aspire to become behemoth businesses on the global stage, to want a share of the big sports industry pie?

Well, this pretty much tells the story of Fanatics, the US-based international manufacturer and seller of licensed sports apparel and merchandise, that in 2023 exceeded the 10 billion dollar revenues. But Fanatics isn’t so much satisfied with that, it wants to become a 100 billion-dollar enterprise and the way it seems now, it won’t be long before it will manage to do so, considering that it has extended its wings to serve the fans’ market in every profitable way: from sports card trading and NFTs to gaming and sports betting. Particularly for sports betting, Fanatics will try to compete for a share of the global sports wagering industry just as every gambling site, including every online casino bd or any other platform from every part of the world, is doing.

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Card Trading

Ever since the ground-breaking deal with the NBA, NFL, and MLB to exclusive licensing for trading cards, Fanatics has come to the spotlight. Sports card trading is a multi-billion market with an annual growth of nearly 8% up to now, while the projection for the following years sees this growth rate reach double-digit figures. Fanatics struck a humongous agreement with the most popular sports leagues, which will be effective once the deal with the current licensing holder, Panini, comes to an end. For the NBA it is 2025, for the NFL it is 2026 and for the MLB it is 2026.

Fanatics will dominate the card trading market by obtaining the licensing rights for the manufacturing and distribution of those cards that are hitting the present markets, as more and more fans are exploring the value of collecting and trading cards with their favorite players, their favorite teams or memorable moments from iconic games.


Fanatics has been selling sports leagues’ branded sportswear, apparel, and collectibles through its e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores and it has been making billions from that business segment. But it had seen the opportunity to expand its robust operational system and marketing intelligence to cater to sports fans’ enthusiasm over Non-Fungible Tokens and somehow relate these cryptos to its core business, which was nothing else than commerce itself. And as such it acquired Candy Digital, to gain access to the market. Although this move was considered to be very promising, at the beginning of 2023 the rumors that Fanatics would divest its 60% stake in the company came true. This was due to the overall crypto market declining and the estimation that NFTs would not progress much. But now, there are once again thoughts over giving another shot with the NFTs, especially as they are now shown to grow.

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Sports betting and gaming

Fanatics hopes to be able to capture the full potential of meeting sports fans’ needs and addressing their interests and this includes the business diversifying into sports betting and gaming.

Global sports gambling is skyrocketing and it is expected to reach record levels in the next few years, making it one of the most lucrative industries at the moment. This partly justifies the growth of online gambling platforms, betting sites, and live casinos, not just in markets where gambling is booming, like live casinos in Bangladesh for example, but also in countries that are emerging gambling markets as well.

Fanatics has realized that the whole thing about sports fans is to be able to provide them with an immersive experience and a unique engagement with the sport they love and this can’t but include offering them the opportunity to bet on the sports.

Becoming gradually the Amazon of sports, Fanatics now operates Fanatics Sportsbooks & Gaming, which specializes in online casinos, online betting sites as well as physical sportsbooks. With plans to become bigger and bigger, it is expected that Fanatics will conquer that world too.

The story behind Fanatics’ success is just indicating how much the sports fans’ market is worth and how many potentials and opportunities are there for businesses to leverage. Offering multiple ways with which fans can engage and connect with their favorite sports, teams, and athletes, the giant retailer has managed to do something that no one has ever done up to now: capitalize on every possible touchpoint or interaction between fans and sports.

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