Fanatics has hired a new person to head up its trading cards and collectibles business.
Mike Mahan, a long-time collector and former head of Dick Clark Productions, will become the first CEO of Fanatics Collectibles. The company says Mahan will be in command of all of Fanatics’ physical and digital collectibles brands, which include Topps, Candy Digital, and zerocool, a trading cards brand solely focused on pop culture, art and entertainment. Mahan will report directly to Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin.
The company says Josh Luber, co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of Fanatics Collectibles, will remain in that role and also run zerocool, which launched in March.
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. Fanatics highlighted Mahan’s work “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,” Rubin remarked. “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.”
Fanatics says growing the number of collectors will be “his number one focus.”
“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,” said 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.”
Last year, Fanatics struck new, massive deals with the MLB, MLBPA, NBA, NBPA, and NFLPA to eventually take over trading card rights. Mahan will oversee that move as well as the company’s new forays into collegiate trading cards as well as the company’s stated intentions to move into case and box breaking, secondary marketplaces, and other ventures in trading cards. Fanatics also says Mahan 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.”
Fanatics says Mahan will be in charge of “the long-term health of the business, while also maintaining the integrity of the hobby for today’s collectors.”
Mahan 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, he 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.