• By The Financial District

Disruptive Power Of Internet Shopping And $200K Loan From Neighbor Leads To Billionaire Status

Michael Rubin was a freshman at Villanova University when he first displayed a knack for pulling off big deals. Using cash borrowed from a neighbor, he bought $200,000 of overstock sports equipment and soon resold it for a $75,000 profit.

Photo Insert: Billionaire Michael Rubin's capital? $200,000 borrowed from a neighbor.

He’s been pouncing on opportunities ever since, according to a Bloomberg article run by Yahoo Finance.


Today, Rubin has a net worth of about $8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Seizing on the disruptive power of internet-based shopping, he has turned sports merchandiser Fanatics into an $18 billion powerhouse that sells everything from National Basketball Association jerseys to Kentucky Wildcat-themed portable barbecue grills. He owns about 40% of the company, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.


Rubin, 49, built Fanatics out of scraps left over from a deal with eBay Inc. a decade ago. Now the Jacksonville, Florida-based firm -- which has tripled in value through multiple funding rounds over the past 12 months -- is using its newfound heft to become a disruptor.


Last month, it dethroned Topps Co. as the go-to producer of baseball cards by reaching exclusive agreements with Major League Baseball and its players’ association. It also added agreements with the NBA and National Football League.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

“Fanatics came into the jersey and apparel space and absolutely took over,” said Mike Gioseffi, who co-hosts the podcast Sports Cards Nonsense. The speed and breadth of its recent moves into trading cards are “just unheard of.”



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