Fanatics has hired former Google and Snap executive Nick Bell to serve as CEO of a new livestreaming division, Fanatics Live, according to multiple reports.
Fanatics Live will launch as a standalone app with a corresponding website in the second half of 2023. The new division will focus on live commerce, starting with the Fanatics Collectibles business, according to Sports Business Journal.
“Fanatics Live will focus on transforming the digital shopping experience through personality- and content-driven live commerce, a.k.a. livestream shopping,” said Bell in a LinkedIn post confirming his appointment. “Livestream shopping has taken hold globally, with it being a $600 billion industry in China alone. While the industry is still nascent within the U.S, around $11 billion, we see enormous upside for growth with analysts expecting livestream shopping to hit $35 billion in U.S. sales by next year. We are hiring!”
Bell previously led teams responsible for the Google search experience, and prior to that served as VP and Global Head of Content and Partnerships at Snap, Inc. He will report to Fanatics Collectibles CEO Mike Mahan.
“All collectors are fans, but not all fans are collectors,” Bell told CNBC. “We have a big opportunity to really grow the hobby by bringing in people who wouldn’t necessarily classify themselves as a collector today, and open them up to this hobby by the way of entertainment and a community where they can hang around like-minded people.”