Fanatics, the online sports memorabilia marketplace, has announced a new way for sports fans to learn about upcoming products. Earlier this month, Fanatics announced they will be launching Fanatics Live, a live-streamed shopping experience centered on sports collectibles and trading cards.
Fanatics Live is expected to launch later in the year and will create a digital shopping experience where fans can socialize, learn, and purchase collectibles and other trading cards.
Top Level Executive Hired by Fanatics
To help grow the Fanatics Live marketplace, Fanatics turned to Nick Bell, a former Snap and Alphabet executive. Bell created Snapchat’s discover feature from the ground up, generating billions in revenue for the company. After his time at Snap, Bell led teams responsible for Google Search at Alphabet. Fanatics has officially hired Bell as the CEO of Fanatics Live.
“All collectors are fans, but not all fans are collectors,” said Bell. “We have a big opportunity to really grow the hobby by bringing in people who wouldn’t necessarily classify themselves as a collector today and open them up to this hobby by the way of entertainment and a community where they can hang around like-minded people.”
What is Live Stream Shopping?
Live stream shopping is a relatively new business model that delivers viewers a personalized online shopping experience. Many are calling live stream shopping the “modern QVC,” and understandably so. The content feels quite similar to QVC programs but with a less salesy tone. Content creators will often showcase features, review products, and even unbox them to show viewers exactly how their order will arrive.
Bell believes live stream shopping is different from programs live QVC. “This is not just about taking a product and selling it; it’s about creating this really entertaining format and experience,” said Bell.
“There’s a lot of development to do around the format – shopping should become a byproduct of entertainment rather than how I think a lot of folks have been thinking about it, which is more akin to how we would think about QVC where it’s just about the shopping,” Bell said. “I think we’re moving to a slightly different world where it’s actually about the content and the community, and the shopping is the byproduct.”
Live stream shopping is still growing in popularity in the US. The Covid-19 pandemic helped jump-start the live-stream shopping business, growing to become a $6 billion industry in 2020. The year, Coresight Research predicts the industry will grow to become a $32 billion industry.
Dozens of US companies have been creating their own versions of a live stream store. Walmart hosts a live shopping experience called Walmart Live. Amazon also has live shoppable videos where content creators can post content showcasing Amazon products.
In the sports memorabilia and trading card industry, however, Fanatics has a couple of notable competitors. eBay purchased TCGPlayer, a popular online trading card marketplace for $295 million last August. Goldin, a brand-new online card marketplace launched in January. The brand could also compete with Fanatics’ new operation if it decides to enter the live stream-selling business.
Fanatics Live Development
The possibility of a live-streamed online trading card experience began to take shape for the company last January when Fanatics purchased Topps trading cards for almost $500 million. Since then, Fanatics also scored a deal with the NFL and NBA to start producing all trading cards for the two organizations beginning in 2026.
It makes sense that the company would be looking for ways to expand its trading card marketplace.
According to Fanatics, they’re predicting $8 billion in revenue for 2023. The company raised an additional $700 million in new capital in December, pushing the company’s value to $31 billion.
Mac Daniel is a Michigan native and freelance writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: playonlinemichigan.com