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Fanatics has recruited Andrea Ellis as the new chief financial officer of its betting and gaming division.

Ellis will be based in Chicago in her new role and will report directly into Fanatics betting and gaming CEO Matt King.

Ellis arrives at the sports merchandising giant from San Francisco-based e-scooter and e-bike sharing specialist Lime, where she was also CFO.

Prior to that, Ellis spent more than five years with Restaurant Brands International in financial management positions for the likes of Popeyes and Tim Hortons.

King said of her appointment: “We are thrilled to welcome Andrea to our team as we inch closer to formally launching a new, dynamic online sports betting and gaming product for fans.

“Andrea has an incredible background leading a wide variety of finance and innovative growth functions across transformative and large-scale consumer brands, experience that will be invaluable to the ultimate long-term success and global scaling of our business,” he added.

A masters graduate of Harvard Business School, Ellis began her professional career on the trading floor at Goldman Sachs, before switching to its LA-based investment banking division in 2012.

“Throughout my career I’ve always searched for opportunities to grow businesses while combining my passions across finance, technology and consumer products, and as a diehard sports fan I can’t imagine a more perfect role than this,” said Ellis.

Fanatics is planning an assault on the US sports betting industry and will need to flex some serious financial muscles if it hopes to make an impact.

For example, the country’s top four online sports betting operators (FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars) currently account for 87% of gross gaming revenue (GGR) market share.

Breaking into those upper echelons would be a tough nut to crack for any business, but especially one that has never taken a real-money sports bet.

Fanatics still has lofty ambitions for its gambling division however and CEO Michael Rubin has set a January 2023 launch date for the business in key states.

“We’ll be in every major state other than New York, where you can’t make money,” Rubin told the Sports Business Journal World Congress of Sports in New York last week.

“We do like to make money, by the way. It’s this crazy concept in business – where we have revenue, we try to have profits that follow it,” he added.

Fanatics intends to use its vast database of sports fans by incentivising existing users to gamble on sports through cross-sell and marketing initiatives.

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