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Fanatics’ Michael Rubin turns to Macy’s for more female customers

Sports retailer Fanatics wants to sell more jerseys, ball caps and T-shirts to women.

It’s counting on Macy’s to help it do that.

The Michael Rubin-owned business — recently valued at $18 billion after its latest $322 million funding round from investors, including Jay-Z — has inked a deal with Macy’s to sell Fanatics merchandise on the department store’s website. The deal is similar to ones Fanatics has made over the past couple years with Walmart, JC Penney and Kohl’s. 

Fanatics is the leader in licensed sports merchandise with the exclusive rights to sell apparel and accessories bearing the logos and names of professional teams in the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB as well as more than 150 universities. Fanatics is also gearing up to become a big player in sports betting and eventually a publicly held company.

But most of its customers are male fans. 

The majority of Macy’s shoppers are women.Getty Images

Rubin figures that women are more likely to buy sportswear for themselves or family members from department stores than they are from Fanatics’ website or handful of Fanatics’ stores.

What’s more, attracting women as customers — and beefing up Fanatics fashion offerings — will help expand the licensed sports industry from $25 billion to a $70 billion business, Rubin told The Post in a goal he originally set in 2019.

“We are thinking about better brands that are not in the licensed sports industry and how to pull them into” the fold, Rubin said. Fanatics has more than a dozen such partnerships including with Vineyard Vines and Tommy Bahama — which are sold at Macy’s. The sports mogul wants to grow the number of better brands Fanatics offers to 100, he said. 

For Macy’s the partnership is a good way for the department store to drive traffic to its website — and sales in categories like collegiate sports where it’s traditionally been weak, Macy’s Senior Vice President Stephen Moore told The Post.

More women have been purchasing sports merchandise from Fanatics since 2019 when the company began partnering with big chain retailers like Walmart and Kohl’s.Alamy Stock Photo

Macy’s and Fanatics wouldn’t disclose the details of their arrangement, but Macy’s sports offerings are increasing 20 fold as it adds such items as a $319 Los Angeles Angels team jersey and a $74 Kylie Irving Brooklyn Nets boys jersey to a $135 Francisco Lindor Mets jersey for women and a $148 Texas Longhorns Dooney & Bourke clutch. Fanatics will fulfill and ship all the orders purchased on Macys.com.

The retail partnerships with Macy’s and others has driven up Fanatics’ sales of women’s apparel in the “high double digits” over the past couple of years, the company said.

“It’s been a very important strategy for us to power these retailers’ e-commerce business,” Fanatics global co-president Jack Boyle told The Post. “For us to reach a new set of customers who are already coming to Macy’s and may not be coming to Fanatics is a way for us to expand the market.”

Fanatics wants to expand the number of fashion items it sells, including accessories, to attract more female customers.Getty Images

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