Digital sports platform Fanatics announced Wednesday the appointment of Andrea Ellis as Chief Financial Officer of Fanatics Betting & Gaming, the company’s online sports betting and iGaming division. The move sees the company take a step closer to the launch of its gaming unit, to take place in January next year.
The sports platform and e-commerce company, which has been valued at more than $27 billion, hired Ellis to oversee business and financial planning and analysis across the full suite of FBG’s finance functions, including accounting, budget, tax, and cost management.
Reporting to Fanatics Betting & Gaming CEO Matt King, Ellis will be “an integral part of developing strategies across the business” and will also have oversight of payments and fraud, the company noted.
She joins Fanatics following two years as Chief Financial Officer of Lime, the largest electric scooter and bike share company on a global scale. Under her leadership, Lime expanded into nearly 30 countries, posted multiple quarters of profitability following the COVID-19 pandemic, and raised more than $500 million.
Fanatics’ Matt King
In a statement, Matt King spoke about Ellis’ appointment and said: “We are thrilled to welcome Andrea to our team as we inch closer to formally launching a new dynamic online sports betting and gaming product for fans.”
“Andrea has an incredible background leading a wide variety of finance and innovative growth functions across transformative and large-scale consumer brands, experience that will be invaluable to the ultimate long-term success and global scaling of our business,” King added.
Ellis also held various positions with increasing responsibilities for Restaurant Brands International, one of the world’s largest quick-service restaurant companies. Throughout her time there, she served as Head of Investor Relations and Global Financial Planning & Analysis for RBI, Chief Financial Officer and interim Head of Retail for Tim Hortons, and General Manager of Popeyes.
“I could not be more excited to join Matt and this incredibly talented betting & gaming team, as well as be a part of the overall growth happening across Fanatics’ global digital sports platform,” Ellis stated.
“Throughout my career, I’ve always searched for opportunities to grow businesses while combining my passions across finance, technology and consumer products, and as a diehard sports fan I can’t imagine a more perfect role than this,” she added.
Fanatics’ Michael Rubin
Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin recently stated the company is expected to launch the betting and gaming unit in January, which would coincide with the NFL playoffs. By the start of football season next Fall, Fanatics anticipates betting up and running everywhere it is legal to do business.
“We’ll be in every major state other than New York, where you can’t make money,” Rubin stated at a Sports Business Journal World Congress of Sports event, and predicted sports betting and Fanatics’ other business segments could be $8 billion in profits, “even in the next decade,” despite the fact it is kickstarting its gambling operations later than most major names in the industry.
As reported by CNBC, FanDuel CEO Amy Howe said at the Global Gaming Expo this month that she thinks it’s only a matter of time before the industry consolidates. “It’s not inconceivable to think that the top two or three operators will drive somewhere between 60, potentially 70% of the market,” she stated.
Fanatics could still make a formidable competitor to its rivals due to the size and scale of its operations, which includes a wide business network and a 94 million customer database. The firm plans to tap into its network by using a loyalty program across all of its businesses, according to Rubin: “You buy merchandise? You’re incented to game. You gamble? You’re incented to get a collectible.”