Sports merchandising behemoth Fanatics can officially bring its new online sportsbook to Ohio.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission on Nov. 16 announced that Fanatics is now licensed to operate an online sports betting site/app in Ohio when legalized Ohio sports betting goes live in the state on Jan. 1, 2023.
Fanatics is partnered with the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team for retail and online sports betting services. Fanatics is also partnered with the Cleveland Guardians for a retail sportsbook.
Ohio sports betting is new ground for Fanatics
What Fanatics Sportsbook will look like in Ohio is still unclear, as the company has yet to release a betting app in any market. So information about things like Fanatics Sportsbook pre-launch or introductory promo offers are still unavailable.
But Fanatics has been making a lot of moves behind the scenes in the past year related to its new sports betting business,l and many are expecting the multi-billion dollar company to be a big player in the marketplace.
Fanatics has grown exponentially since CEO Michael Rubin acquired the company from its founders in 2011. Besides being a leading manufacturer and retailer for licensed sportswear and merch, Fanatics’ business has expanded into trading cards, collectibles, NFTs and more in recent years.
Fanatics Sportsbook to round out company’s robust digital offerings
Sports betting is the next frontier for Fanatics, and the company’s many cross-sport partnerships and extensive e-commerce experience puts it in a good position to enter the crowded sports betting market. To head up the Fanatics Betting and Gaming department, earlier this year the company brought in Matt King, former CEO of sports betting industry leader FanDuel.
In an interview on The Colin Cowherd Podcast earlier this year, Rubin said the Fanatics Sportsbook is the next big step the company is taking to become a complete digital one-stop shop for sports fans.
“There really isn’t another company today that is working to build an end-to-end digital sports platform,” Rubin said. “A place where one day you can bet on the games as you are watching them live, buy the jersey, get a collectible, an NFT or a ticket. We really want to give the sports fan everything they want in one place. That’s a massive opportunity.”
In October, Rubin announced at the CAA World Congress of Sports that Fanatics Sportsbook will begin its national rollout in January 2023, just in time for Ohio’s sports betting launch.
“BetFanatics” trademark filing offers hints
In May, Fanatics filed for a trademark for its sports betting operations. The filing offered a few possible hints as to what Fanatics’ betting elements might look like.
The filing with the United States Patent and Trademark was to trademark the term “BetFanatics.” Though the company hasn’t made any announcement about it, many have speculated that BetFanatics could be the branding used for all of Fanatics sports betting-related products (akin to branding like “BetMGM” or “Bally Bet”).
The filing said BetFanatics could be used for mobile apps for betting, gaming and fantasy sports.
The filing also said the apps may provide “previews, alerts, replays, video clips of sporting competitions, and web cam feeds, all in the field of sports,” as well as sports news, statistics and analysis.
Ohio moves three more sportsbook apps ahead
During the Nov. 16 meeting, the OCCC also approved online sportsbook licenses for Betr, betPARX and MVGBet.
Sixteen online sports betting operators are now licensed to launch in Ohio in the new year, with seven still awaiting a decision on their applications.