Earvin “Magic” Johnson Appointed to Fanatics Board of Directors

Basketball Hall of Famer and renowned entrepreneur will help guide direction of Fanatics with his unique perspectives on business and community

Magic Johnson is joining the Fanatics Board of Directors (Photo: Business Wire)

LOS ANGELES & JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fanatics, a global leader for licensed sports merchandise, today announced the appointment of Earvin “Magic” Johnson to its Board of Directors. One of the most decorated professional basketball players in history, off the court Johnson has built a successful entrepreneurial portfolio in sports, business and technology. Johnson joins Mindy Grossman, CEO of WW International, and Jerry Storch, Founder and CEO of Storch Advisors and veteran retail executive, as Fanatics’ independent board members.

“It’s an honor to be invited to join the Fanatics Board of Directors. I’ve been impressed with the evolution of the company and its ability to transform the industry over the past several years”

@MagicJohnson

Fanatics is changing the way fans purchase their favorite team apparel, jerseys, headwear and hardgoods through an innovative, tech-infused approach to making and selling fan gear in today’s on-demand, mobile-first culture. Combining cutting-edge technology with an agile production and supply chain, Fanatics pioneered a vertical commerce business model that allows the company to better serve its 300-plus partners and the growing real-time expectations of leagues, teams, fans and retailers worldwide to ensure the broadest assortment is available online, in stadiums or on-site at major sporting events.

“It’s an honor to be invited to join the Fanatics Board of Directors. I’ve been impressed with the evolution of the company and its ability to transform the industry over the past several years,” said Johnson. “I am eager to be a part of its future growth and innovation that will continue across multiple sectors.”

Johnson, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, was a three-time NBA MVP and led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships throughout his career. Johnson is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Magic Johnson Enterprises, an investment conglomerate that provides high-quality products and services focusing primarily on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities. In 2012, he became co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and holds ownership stakes in the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club, and eSports franchise Team Liquid. From 1998 to 2010, Johnson’s company owned more than 100 Starbucks stores as he helped expand the coffee chain throughout urban America.

“Magic’s success in business rivals that of his success on the basketball court, and we are incredibly excited to have him join our team and help propel Fanatics forward,” said Fanatics Executive Chairman, Michael Rubin. “He’s an NBA legend and a titan in the business world, but more importantly he recognizes and leverages his platform to advance diversity and inclusion across all business sectors. He will provide invaluable direction as Fanatics continues to play a leadership role in reimagining the entire licensed sports industry.”

The Lansing native is constantly evolving and remaining relevant in a dynamic digital age by broadening his scope into infrastructure and technology. Through a newly formed fund, Johnson is investing millions of dollars on infrastructure improvement in the United States. He is also one of the leading investors in a number of minority-owned technology companies that include Uncharted Power, an award-winning power and data infrastructure technology company; Jopwell, a diversity and hiring recruiting platform; and ShotTracker, a company that makes wearable technology for basketball players that helps track player and ball movement.

About Fanatics

As a global leader in licensed sports merchandise, Fanatics is changing the way fans purchase their favorite team apparel, jerseys, headwear and hardgoods through an innovative, tech-infused approach to making and selling fan gear in today’s on-demand, mobile-first culture. Combining cutting-edge technology with an agile production and supply chain, Fanatics pioneered a vertical commerce business model that allows the company to better serve its 300-plus partners and the growing real-time expectations of leagues, teams, fans and retailers worldwide to ensure the broadest assortment is available online, in stadiums or on-site at major sporting events. Fanatics comprises the broadest assortment by offering hundreds of thousands of officially licensed items across its Fanatics, FansEdge, Kitbag, Majestic, Top of the World and WinCraft brands, as well as the largest selection of sports collectibles and memorabilia through Fanatics Authentic. For more information, please visit www.fanaticsinc.com.

About Magic Johnson Enterprises

Magic Johnson Enterprises, formed in 1987, serves as a catalyst for community and economic empowerment by making available high-quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of ethnically diverse urban communities. Through investment, partnership and consultation, Magic Johnson Enterprises has a portfolio of companies that strategically work together to reinforce the organization’s focus on serving emerging, multicultural communities. 

www.magicjohnsonenterprises.com.

MORE ON MAGIC JOINING FANATICS

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The former Los Angeles Laker — who led his team five times to the NBA championship — has agreed to join the board as one of three independent directors, including Mindy Grossman, chief executive of WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and Gerald Storch, a former CEO of Toys R Us and Hudson’s Bay Company, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue.

The high-profile appointment comes as the privately held Fanatics, which makes jerseys and other gear for professional sports leagues and teams as well as universities, has been reportedly working toward plans to file for an initial public offering.

While an IPO is clearly an available path to us, there is no update on any timeline,” the company said in a statement. “Our focus remains on building a great global company and strengthening our vertical commerce business model.”

Led by founder Michael Rubin, Fanatics has been on a fundraising tear, securing $350 million in August, which values the company at $6.2 billion. The National Football League and Major League Baseball are also investors in the company, which sells licensed apparel mostly online.

In a statement, Rubin said of Johnson, “He’s an NBA legend and a titan in the business world, but more importantly he recognizes and leverages his platform to advance diversity and inclusion across all business sectors.”

The hoopster heads up Magic Johnson Enterprises, an investment company that focuses on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities. In 2012, he became co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and holds ownership stakes in the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club, and eSports franchise Team Liquid. His company also owned more than 100 Starbucks stores until 2010.

“It’s an honor to be invited to join the Fanatics board of directors,” Johnson said in a statement. “I’ve been impressed with the evolution of the company and its ability to transform the industry over the past several years.”

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson 2014 (cropped).jpg
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Johnson in 2014
Personal information
Born August 14, 1959 (age 61)
Lansing, Michigan
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 220 lb (100 kg)[1]
Career information
High school Everett (Lansing, Michigan)
College Michigan State (1977–1979)
NBA draft 1979 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Playing career 1979–1991, 1996, 1999–2000
Position Point guard
Number 32
Career history
As player:
19791991, 1996 Los Angeles Lakers
1999–2000 Magic M7 Borås
2000 Magic Great Danes
As coach:
1994 Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards
As a player:

Career NBA statistics
Points 17,707 (19.5 ppg)
Rebounds 6,559 (7.2 rpg)
Assists 10,141 (11.2 apg)
Stats 
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at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006
Medals
Men’s basketball
Representing
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United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place
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1992 Barcelona Men’s basketball
FIBA Americas Championship
Gold medal – first place
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1992 Portland Men’s basketball

Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American former professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Often regarded as the best point guard of all time, Johnson played 13 seasons for the Lakers and was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.

Johnson’s career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a member of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team (“The Dream Team”), which won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars, a barnstorming team that traveled around the world playing exhibition games.

Johnson became a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame—being enshrined in 2002 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as a member of the “Dream Team”. His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well documented.

Since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex, as well as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, broadcaster and motivational speaker. His public announcement of his HIV-positive status in 1991 helped dispel the stereotype, still widely held at the time, that HIV was a “gay disease” that heterosexuals need not worry about; his bravery in making this announcement was widely commended.[11] Named by Ebony magazine as one of America’s most influential black businessmen in 2009, Johnson has numerous business interests, and was a part-owner of the Lakers for several years. Johnson also is part of a group of investors that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014. During Johnson’s ownership of both teams, the Sparks won the 2016 WNBA championship, and the Dodgers won the 2020 World Series championship. Combining his playing career and sports ownership career, Johnson has 10 NBA championships (five each as a player and later part-owner of the Lakers) to his credit.