Digital sports platform Fanatics has announced the appointment of Mike Mahan as CEO of Fanatics Collectibles, the company’s trading cards and collectibles business.
In this newly created role, Mahan will develop the overall vision and corporate strategy for Fanatics Collectibles and oversee its full portfolio of physical and digital collectibles brands, which includes Topps, the trading cards brand; Candy Digital, a next-gen digital collectibles company, and zerocool, a trading cards brand solely focused on pop culture, art and entertainment. Mahan, a long-time collector himself, will report directly to Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin.
Mahan joins Fanatics after running Dick Clark Productions, the world’s largest producer of television events including the Golden Globe Awards, American Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards, where he served as CEO. While there, he guided the company to seven consecutive years of record growth and profits and successfully drove large viewership across entertainment products, responsibilities that align with the broader collectibles market becoming a content engine driven by exceptional products. Overall, Mike has more than two decades of experience working at the intersection of digital media, content creation, influencer marketing, entertainment, and finance.
“Our collectibles business has seen tremendous growth since launching last year, and we couldn’t be more confident in bringing Mike on board to shape the bright future of this division and its alignment within our larger Fanatics digital sports platform,” says Rubin. “As a collector and passionate sports fan, Mike’s vision for both the trading cards hobby and emerging digital collectibles properties, driven by exceptional products, will further position Fanatics as a leader in these categories, creating incredible opportunities for fans, collectors, hobby shops, retailers and our partners.”
As the opportunities for collectors and fans to purchase and engage with physical and digital collectibles grows – fuelled by innovative content, social marketing, and influencer involvement – Mike’s experience and personal passion provides a strong background to lead the business, grow the overall industry and create new levels of participation for both existing and new collectors. His number one focus will be growing the total number of collectors globally across the category.
“I could not think of a more perfect next step in my career than to lead the incredibly talented teams within Fanatics Collectibles, where I’ll have the opportunity to combine my entrepreneurial passions that lie within sports, marketing, and content creation, with my love for trading cards and collectibles at large,” says Mahan. “The worlds of trading cards and digital collectibles have been forever reshaped over the past several years, and these new assets and the connections they create have the ability to bring fans and collectors closer than ever before to the players, teams and entertainers they love.”
In addition, Mike will be tasked with executing the global, exclusive rights and future rights that live within the Fanatics Collectibles portfolio, including preeminent players associations, sports leagues, professional and college teams, top student-athletes, brands and entertainment properties. The business will continue to serve fans, collectors and partners across all channels – direct-to-consumer, hobby shops, and retailers – while opening doors to new businesses for Fanatics Collectibles, such as breaking, secondary marketplaces, and more. He will leverage incredible relationships with top talent to align with one of Fanatics’ future collectibles strategies; working with the biggest names in sports and entertainment to promote the company’s physical and digital collectibles products.
Mike began his career as an investment banker for Bear Stearns and worked in private equity at CDP Capital Entertainment, a division of Caisse de Dépôt. A graduate of UCLA, where he studied business and economics, Mike is or has been an investor in several media, sports, gaming, and consumer properties, including Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), Oklahoma City Dodgers (Triple-A affiliate of the LA Dodgers), Axiomatic’s Team Liquid, Next VR and Aviation Gin.