Numlock Sunday: Eben Novy-Williams talks the most important move in the sports industry
By Walt Hickey
Welcome to the Numlock Sunday edition.
This week I am joined by Eben Novy-Williams of the site Sportico, who wrote the story “Fanatics to Buy PointsBet’s U.S. Arm for $150M, to Boost Betting Push” and then a few weeks later followed it up with “Fanatics Raises PointsBet Offer to $225 Million as DraftKings Steps Aside.” Here's why I wrote about the first one:
Fanatics, the $31 billion colossus of the sports merchandising world, reached an agreement to buy PointsBet’s American operation in a $150 million deal. The company has exploded in value over the past several years, from a $4.5 billion valuation in August of 2017 that, following the investment in Lids in 2019, grew to $6.2 billion by August 2020, and then riding a boom in pandemic-era interest in trading cards, memorabilia and officially licensed merch hit $31 billion as of January. With the deal, the merch company will try to turn its contact list of 95 million sports fans into gamblers, yet another change to the cul…