Who Is Michael Rubin, CEO of Fanatics?


Mr. Rubin’s business strategy of including players in long-term profit shares as well as his criminal reform efforts make him a rarity among white billionaires, said Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar who is now an owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and a member of Fanatics board.

“Michael Rubin’s got the Black card,” Mr. Johnson said. “And not just the one for spending money.”

Like many of Mr. Rubin’s business relationships, his with Mr. Johnson began as a friendship when the two men spent holidays with their families, together in side-by-side cabanas in the Bahamas. Mr. Rubin’s Instagram is filled with photos and videos of him at various vacation locales, including on yachts and at Super Bowls, and drinking at his Bridgehampton mansion with celebrities including Jon Bon Jovi.

“Michael works a lot,” said his girlfriend, Ms. Fishel. But, she said, she knows he’ll spend a block of time with his family when a deal closes. “Then again,” she said, “as soon as Michael finishes one deal, there is always the next one.”

Back at the 76ers game, Allen Iverson, the retired All-Star guard who played for the team for more than decade, arrived to his own courtside seats near Mr. Rubin’s. In a mask, New York Yankees cap and a lot of diamonds, Mr. Iverson was swarmed by cameras. After a few minutes, Mr. Rubin approached and greeted him as the cameras rolled.

When the game ended, fans mobbed Mr. Iverson for selfies, but a few bypassed him, heading straight for Mr. Rubin. “I want to be just like you,” one young man said, as Mr. Rubin gamely smiled for a quick picture. Then he high-tailed it out a backdoor. His helicopter was waiting.

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