It’s happening but there’s been no press release or significant comment from company executives on the impending sale of Steiner Sports to Fanatics. One source tells us legal details are still being finalized on the transaction, which is reported to include the transfer of all of Steiner’s inventory as well as some intellectual property.
Word of the deal came down early last week. The DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom, which owns Steiner, now states it will be selling some of the assets of Steiner Sports to Fanatics.
However, Omnicom apparently sold Steiner without the input or knowledge of Brandon Steiner, who founded the company back in the 1980s. Steiner had maintained his role as CEO after selling it to Omnicom but according to a story on Thursday’s New York Post, the takeover–and his exit– was swift.
The Post reported that Steiner was on his way to watch a Yankees-Red Sox game on May 31 when he was told of the sale by phone. After returning to the company’s New Rochelle, NY facility, he was greeted by armed guards and escorted from the property.
According to a WARN Act notice (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) filed with the New York Department of Labor June 5, some 60 people employed by the company will be losing their jobs starting in late August, with the business set to shut down in late October. At least one has already found work. Dave Amerman, who managed Steiner’s online memorabilia auctions, recently took a job with New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions.
The paper also reported that Steiner Sports has been losing money for several years. Sale negotiations had been underway between Steiner and stadium concession firm Legends, but Fanatics made the move to acquire the company’s assets at a price the Post’s sources stated was under $10 million. For now, at least, Omnicom will maintain control of Steiner’s player autograph signing agreements. Steiner’s website will continue to sell autographs, game-used items and other memorabilia until this fall.
Based in Jacksonville, FL and owned by billionaire Michael Rubin, Fanatics has become a giant in the sports apparel and collectibles field, selling to fans and collectors online and also holding ecommerce deals with several pro sports leagues. The company generated over $2.7 billion in top-line revenue in 2018. Sports collectibles are a small part of the company’s overall business, but it has still become a powerful player in the industry.