JAY-Z, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Fanatics & More Acquire Mitchell & Ness – Billboard
Written by GRB on 18/02/2022
Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Maverick Carter, Fanatics, the D’Amelio family and more have officially acquired iconic lifestyle brand Mitchell & Ness from former owner Juggernaut Capital Partners. The announcement came early Friday (Feb. 18).
“Fashion is cyclical, but classics are forever,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “Mitchell & Ness is a true classic. I was an early adopter of this brand, as well as a part of a departure from athletic wear. I’m proud to play a small role in bringing it back, and in some cases, introducing the authenticity and quality of the Mitchell & Ness brand to a new generation.”
Founded in 1904, Mitchell & Ness remains a go-to shopping hub for nostalgic sports jerseys, licensed lifestyle products, street fashion staples and stylish head gear. The company has secured major deals with the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS and various NCAA schools.
Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said in a statement, “Mitchell & Ness is an iconic brand and pioneer within our industry. I’m incredibly excited for Fanatics to partner with this incredible group of innovative owners to build upon the company’s already strong business that has kept the brand culturally relevant for more than 100 years. Growing up as a kid in Philadelphia, we looked at Mitchell & Ness as a badge of pride, and I truly believe this legendary brand has no limit.”
While new co-owner Fanatics is also a fan-favorite sports apparel vendor, Mitchell & Ness will continue operating as a separate, distinct brand within the Fanatics Commerce division. Powerhouse company Baird was the sole financial adviser for Mitchell & Ness throughout the new acquisition.
The deal aims to advance the licensed sports industry by merging Mitchell & Ness’ business model with Fanatics’ platform and global reach. The diverse team of co-owners intends to increase Mitchell & Ness’ international scope, expand product portfolio and gain new entertainment, league and college rights.
As part of the deal, current Mitchell & Ness CEO Kevin Wulff will assume the same position and report directly to Joe Bozich, president of Fanatics. Additionally, all 132 Mitchell & Ness employees located in Philadelphia and Irvine, Calif. (plus select international markets) will immediately be transitioned as Fanatics employees without relocating.
Among the new owners are the D’Amelio family: social influencers Charli and Dixie D’Amelio and their mom and dad Marc and Heidi.