Jay-Z The Sports “Fanatic(s)” Joins Board After $325 Million Raise To Expand Into Betting
By Tiyana Jordan
- Jay-Z and Roc Nation took part in a $325M investment in Fanatics and applied for a New York gaming license to form Fanatics Sportsbook
- New York’s mobile sports betting market could begin to generate $20B a year in wagers
Hip-hop serial entrepreneur Jay-Z continues to leverage his long-term friendships into business relationships, to diversify and innovate his already well-rounded portfolio of business ventures. He has partnered with Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin to apply for a New York gaming license for Fanatics Sportsbook, a proposed mobile gambling operator in New York State. Jay-Z and Roc Nation each invested in Fanatics’ recent $325 million funding round that valued the company at $18 billion, nearly triple its valuation from one year ago.
Why This Matters: At the start of 2022, New York’s mobile sports betting market is set to be incredibly lucrative and could begin to generate $20 billion a year in wagers. As a result, The New York State Gaming Commission received bids this month from a handful of companies to operate mobile sportsbooks, including FanDuel, DraftKings (DKNG +0.44%), Bally’s, BetMGM, and Caesars Sportsbook.
“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business man,” is just one of Jay-Z’s recognizable musical lyrics transcending further than the hip hop industry, and is connecting his influence into sports and gaming. Much of Fanatics new valuation is based on the company's expected move into the sports gaming industry, which is where Jay is now taking the lead.
What’s Next: Jay-Z’s will serve on the board of Fanatics, while serving as Vice Chairman along with Rubin. The two men have also teamed up to invest in Kambi, a software company for sports gaming operators, according to Variety. The New York Gaming Commission will approve at least two of the six groups that have applied, with Jay being the only Black owner and New Yorker in the group. A decision is expected to be made by December.
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Tiyana Jordan is an author and coworking space business owner in New Orleans, now navigating the Atlanta business scene. She strategically reads from the bottom to the top (to intake the main points first) and really enjoys business development and branding.