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.
“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.”