From Ski Shop to Billionaire: The Rise of Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin
Unofficial Networks2 weeks ago
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From Ski Shop to Billionaire: The Rise of Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin

MichaelRubin
Fanatics
entrepreneurship
billionaire
ecommerce

Summary:

  • Michael Rubin, CEO of Fanatics, is a self-made billionaire who started his entrepreneurial journey with a ski tuning shop at age 12.

  • At 14, Rubin opened a ski retail shop and built a 142-foot ski ramp to attract customers.

  • He survived a near-bankruptcy and went on to create a $100 million discount business.

  • Rubin founded GSI Commerce, a top e-commerce platform, and launched Fanatics within it.

  • After selling GSI Commerce to eBay for $2.4 billion, he bought back Fanatics and turned it into the biggest e-commerce platform for sports merchandise.

From Ski Shop to Billionaire: The Rise of Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin

Michael Rubin, the CEO of Fanatics, is a self-made billionaire who has become a household name in the sports world. But his entrepreneurial journey began in a surprising place: the ski industry.

At just 12 years old, Rubin opened Mike's Ski Tuning, a shop with the slogan “The Finest Quality Done By Hand.” At 14, he expanded his business to a ski retail shop. To attract customers, Rubin built a 142-foot ski ramp in August 1988. He famously said: “I believe there are two types of business people — risky and rational. And since I am the risky type, a ski run in 98 degree weather sounds great to me!”

Despite a near-bankruptcy after a snowless winter, Rubin bounced back by creating a $100 million discount business selling older sneakers and skis. In 1998, he founded GSI Commerce, a top e-commerce platform for retailers, and created Fanatics within it.

Rubin sold GSI Commerce to eBay for $2.4 billion but bought Fanatics back, making it the biggest e-commerce platform for sports merchandise. He shared his journey in a captivating episode of Shark Tank last year.

Michael Rubin's story is a testament to the power of risk-taking, resilience, and innovation in entrepreneurship.

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