Iconic brand Mitchell & Ness has been acquired by a group of investors including Jay-Z and Meek Mill. According to a press release, the strategic investment group, made up of some of the most recognized names in sports, entertainment, and culture, will own approximately 25 percent of the company. Lil Baby, Michael Rubin’s Fanatics, Maverick Carter, the D’Amelio family, alongside more of the biggest names in sports, entertainment, and culture all made the commitment.
“Mitchell & Ness is an iconic brand and a pioneer within our industry,” expressed Rubin in a statement. “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.”
Jay-Z added, “Fashion is cyclical, but classics are forever. 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.”
The acquisition expands Fanatics’ capabilities across elevated product categories that appeal to broader markets including men’s and women’s street fashion. With Mitchell & Ness standing as one of the most respected brands in licensed sports merchandise, Fanatics hopes to build by using an existing customer database and strong relationships with sports properties.
Together the investment group hopes to grow Mitchell & Ness brand awareness globally, expand the product portfolio, introduce new league, team, college, and entertainment rights, and expand the distribution of products to new retailers all over the world, among other goals.
The Mitchell & Ness brand and Fanatics will remain separate, distinct brands within the Fanatics Commerce division. The current Mitchell & Ness CEO Kevin Wulff will assume the same role and all 132 Mitchell & Ness employees located in Philadelphia, Irvine, Calif., and in select international markets will also transition over to Fanatics but remain in their present locations.