Fanatics Files Trademark to Enter Gambling Scene
News broke Monday that Fanatics filed a trademark for “BETFANATICS” in what is sure to be another step in the evolution of sports betting and fandom.
The filing, submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last Tuesday, asked that the new entity be available to all traditional betting services, including retail, mobile, and online platforms and stretching into poker tournaments, casino games, horse racing, and more.
New trademarks tend to take around four months for a full review but can take upwards of 10 months to complete the entire trademarking process. A massive market realignment will soon follow, assuming the trademark goes through.
Fanatics becoming more active
Fanatics is a global sports merchandiser offering digital collectibles, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs), trading cards, and team gear.
The online sports giant has been getting especially active in the market as of late, filing trademarks for “FANATICS SPORTSBOOK” and “FANATICS CASINO” last year, purchasing sports memorabilia company Topps for around $500m near the start of 2022, and absorbing sportswear provider Mitchell & Ness and former MLB uniform maker Majestic Athletic.
The company also tried to break into the New York market in 2021, even signing on rap superstar and business mogul Jay-Z to help usher them in; unfortunately for them, the New York State Gaming Commission did not select them as a finalist for a license.
Fanatics has not settled on a name for its betting enterprise, but they did say that “you can expect we would want to leverage the Fanatics name,” per chief commercial officer Ari Borod.
Planning for the future
Sports betting has been a booming success for many operators, although some are still treading in dangerous waters— reports have circulated that Fanatics could look to acquire PointsBet or Rush Street Interactive, two struggling companies, to facilitate their entry into the market.
A recent valuation placed the company at a $27bn total worth, showing they have the requisite cash to make any moves needed to cement a place in the gambling scene. Although nothing has been cemented yet, Fanatics has been taking steps to prepare for entry into the new venture, most notably hiring FanDuel CEO Matt King in an unprecedented move just less than a year ago.
Sports Business Journal also revealed that a LinkedIn search turned up 38 Fanatics betting employees and an additional 40 vacant positions.
The global sports giant was also one of seven major companies that banded together to get sports betting on the upcoming California general election ballot with hopes of voters authorizing legal sports betting in The Golden State.
The group’s drive turned up roughly 1.6m signatures in support of the issue— California authorities are currently combing them to make sure they received the requisite 997,139 valid autographs.
However, the sportsbooks, along with Fanatics, stipulated that future licensees would have to fork over a $100m fee in addition to operating sportsbooks in at least 10 other states; there is an exception that could lower the figure to five if the company also owns at least a dozen Class III casinos.
If Fanatics is aiming to land in California, as all signs indicate, they have a year and a quarter to get their system in place, provided they do not want to buy in after the market already opens. Multiple paths remain open for Fanatics, but them making a move in the sports betting scene seems unavoidable.
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