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Fanatics Hires Nike Exec Mich Chandlee as CFO

Chandlee "understands the economics of the sports apparel industry and the power of product, brand, technology, and channel innovation."
Matthew HellerSeptember 18, 2019

Online sports apparel retailer Fanatics has turned to one of its suppliers for a new CFO, hiring long-time Nike executive Michener “Mich” Chandlee.

The appointment of Chandlee, who succeeds Lauren Cooks Levitan, comes as Fanatics prepares to sell NFL and Major League Baseball fan gear through a 10-year partnership with Nike.

Chandlee has spent the past 18 years at Nike, most recently as vice president, corporate audit and chief risk officer. He was previously CFO of the company’s Global Marketplace, North America, Emerging Markets, and Nike Golf divisions.

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“As Fanatics continues to rapidly scale into a leading global, vertical, customer-focused brand, Mich brings an ideal skill set and experience base to lead and scale our finance organization ahead,” Fanatics CEO Doug Mack said in a news release.

“He understands the economics of the sports apparel industry and the power of product, brand, technology and channel innovation — which are key as he guides our financial future,” he added.

Fanatics said Chandlee’s expertise in vertical product, brand development, globalization, wholesale and strategic retail would help “drive profitable growth across all divisions in the company.”

Fanatics, which started out as a brick-and-mortar retailer in Florida, is now valued at around $4.5 billion, having bulked up with acquisitions of competitors including FansEdge and Majestic. It has said it expects to generate about $2.6 billion in revenue this year.

“Its business has been described by analysts as somewhat ‘Amazon-proof’ because it has so many exclusive deals with leagues and teams,” CNBC reported

Chandlee, who started his finance career at General Motors, said he was “excited to fuse together my passion for sports, vertical product and technology by joining the talented and passionate team at Fanatics … They’ve unlocked endless opportunities to reinvent the licensed sports industry and fan experience for the on-demand economy.”

Cooks Levitan, a former Silicon Valley private equity analyst, is leaving Fanatics after four years at the company to join San Francisco-based wholesale marketplace Faire.