Dive Brief:

  • As it expands, Fanatics has hired Orlando Ashford as its new chief people officer, according to a Thursday press release.
  • In his new role, Ashford will be responsible for the company’s human resources operations across its commerce, collectibles, and betting and gaming arms. He will report to CEO Michael Rubin and CFO Glenn Schiffman regarding the company’s culture, talent development, corporate policies, human resources infrastructure, and other matters, according to the press release.
  • Ashford brings prior experience at companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Motorola and Sycamore Partners, among others.

Dive Insight

Ashford is entering the company amid an era of expansion at Fanatics. Besides managing the company’s human resources operations, Ashford will also work on advancing its diversity and inclusion efforts and supporting the company’s philanthropic initiatives, including through the Fanatics Foundation, according to the press release.

“As we continue to grow and expand, it becomes even more important to double down on organizational development, and I can’t think of a better person to lead this charge than Orlando,” Rubin said in a statement. “His vast experience running HR teams and his CEO-level experience, with people and culture being the primary lens for how he’s managed and operated his businesses, will help us further develop our ambitions to build one of the world’s most transformative and exciting brands.”

Orlando Ashford portait
Ashford will be responsible for the company’s human resources operations across its commerce, collectibles, and betting and gaming arms.
Courtesy of Business Wire/Fanatics
 

Fanatics has spent the past few years building up its brick-and-mortar presence with noteworthy retail partners. In 2018, the company teamed up with J.C. Penney to create shop-in-shops within hundreds of locations. In October 2021, Macy’s entered a long-term partnership with Fanatics to bring more fan gear into its online product assortment. The following month, Fanatics teamed up with Nordstrom for an online sports shop.

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In addition to enlisting major retail partners, Fanatics has attracted investors and made an acquisition of its own. In August 2021, the company raised $325 million in funding, pushing its valuation to $18 billion. In February, the retailer purchased lifestyle brand Mitchell & Ness for an undisclosed sum. And earlier this week, Mitchell & Ness added a noteworthy group of investors to its lineup, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kevin Hart, Scooter Braun and James Harden, CNBC reported.