Is there a chance Tom Brady, a New England Patriots legend and one of the best players in NFL history, inks a deal to become a Fanatics Sportsbook ambassador?
We’ve seen plenty of other sports figures do the same, and on Friday, Brady shared an Instagram post that could hint at a potential partnership with Fanatics.
Seven MA online sports betting apps are live in the Commonwealth, and Fanatics is expected to join the mix next.
Tom Brady is close with Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin
As Fanatics Massachusetts prepares to go live, it’s worth keeping in mind that Brady’s relationship with Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin goes back to his playing days.
Brady inked an exclusive deal with Fanatics back in 2020, when he was playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The partnership named Fanatics as the sole distributor of Brady’s autographs, memorabilia and other collectibles.
“Fanatics is a brand synonymous with authenticity, in both the merchandise they provide and the timeless memories they create that go well beyond a jersey or a football,” Brady said at the time. “Michael Rubin and Fanatics have been great partners throughout the ALL IN Challenge, and I’m proud to be aligned with a company that is creating these types of genuine connections for people all over the world.”
As Brady mentioned, he partnered with Fanatics for the ALL IN Challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in 2020, athletes and other celebrities donated some of their most prized possessions and created in-person, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It was a way to raise money for those suffering from the pandemic.
Last year, Rubin called Brady a “selling machine” for Fanatics.
“We love Tom Brady, and the jersey-selling machine that he is,” Rubin said.
Brady took to Instagram last week to post his latest meet-up with Rubin. Along with Rubin and hip-hop artist Travis Scott, Brady met with the top four quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft. It was a way to “pay it forward,” according to Brady’s post.
Brady’s Instagram caption explained that Rubin invited him to Los Angeles to speak with Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis.
“We got to spend many hours talking, learning, and discussing what it takes to be your best,” Brady said in his post. “In my opinion, hard work and consistent discipline are two critical ingredients to that formula.”
Brady the business man
Brady doesn’t have a deal with any sportsbook just yet, but one of his former teammates does.
Former Patriots and Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowksi has a partnership with FanDuel. He even starred in FanDuel’s “Kick of Destiny” commercial during the most recent Super Bowl. Gronkowski’s FanDuel voice rang loud prior to Massachusetts launching its sports betting industry, as he shared a number of promos and announcements ahead of the launch date.
But Gronkowski isn’t the only former Massachusetts sports figure with a gambling deal. This spring, David Ortiz, Zdeno Chara and Brian Scalabrine all starred in a DraftKings Massachusetts “Bet Local” advertisement.
Brady may not have a partnership with a sportsbook, but his other endorsements include some of the biggest names in their respective industries. Brady boasts deals with Aston Martin, Christopher Cloos, Under Armour and T-Mobile.
Could a Fanatics Sportsbook partnership be up next?
Here’s where things could get tricky.
Earlier this month, news broke that Brady was in discussions to become a part owner of the Las Vegas Raiders. Should Brady become a minority owner of the Raiders and want a sportsbook deal, there could be conflicts.
Look at Rubin, who was a minority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers. He sold his stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (the company that owns the 76ers and New Jersey Devils) last summer. Rubin sold his shares because of the looming conflicts with expanding the Fanatics brand into the sports betting world.
But let’s say Brady doesn’t end up being an NFL owner. In that case, a sportsbook partnership would make sense. Especially after seeing the success that his favorite Patriots target currently enjoys with one.
It’s worth noting that back in 2021, DraftKings hired Gisele Bündchen — Brady’s ex-wife — as a special advisor to the CEO for environmental and social initiatives. Brady is also set to be a broadcaster for FOX, which has previously worked with Flutter — FanDuel’s parent company — for FOX Bet Sportsbook.
But, given how much it appears Brady values relationships when it comes to his deals (and just about everything in his life), it appears Fanatics would have the edge on paper.
It’s no secret that Brady is close with Rubin. The timing and location would make sense, as Fanatics Sportsbook is about to launch in the area where the former quarterback blossomed into NFL royalty.
It would also be a no-brainer for Fanatics, as it would be the biggest splash of a Massachusetts sportsbook ambassador to date.