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'Fanatics Fest' featuring Hall of Famers coming this summer: 'Now is the time'

Fanatics has announced the launch of "Fanatics Fest," a three-day Comic Con-styled event that will feature some of the biggest names in sports

In what's probably long past overdue, Fanatics announced Thursday morning that it will hold "Fanatics Fest," the brand's inaugural flagship event, this summer.

The event is essentially the sports version of Comic Con as legendary athletes like Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, Hulk Hogan and Kevin Durant are just some of the biggest names to be at the Javits Center in New York on Aug. 16-18.

"Sitting at the nexus of sports fandom, culture and collecting, Fanatics Fest NYC will bring together fans across all sports to celebrate their passions under one roof …" Fanatics said in a statement. "The [multiday] event will be laced with interactive features, multiple stages and theaters, exclusive merchandise, [product] drops, major announcements, live podcasts and more to celebrate and elevate modern sports fandom in all its forms."


Fanatics Events CEO Lance Fensterman says "now is the time" to start this event.

"It feels like, 'This hasn't been done before?' It seems like an idea that should exist," Fensterman said in an interview with Fox Business. "I think it is, joking aside, the right team at the right place at the right time, and when you get that conversion, it can become a reality."

Aside from athletes, there will be an entire card-trading expo, memorabilia and collectibles, and interactive events like a 40-yard dash, golf simulators, video games, panels, screenings and more in what is "the entire kind of universe of sports and sports culture activated in one place over three days," says Fensterman.

With superstars in town, it's hard to imagine this won't be a huge success, but the Fanatics team still has a huge goal.

"The No. 1 goal is we want fans to love it. We want fans to react to what we're creating, show up in growth, and have an amazing time. It's a simple metric for success," Fensterman said, adding he hopes that at least 75,000 people can attend. "Success is a simple metric, which is happy fans."


Fensterman was in charge of launching Comic Con, so he has an easy blueprint to copy, but he is trying to make it different. 

"What's really unique about this is understanding really what makes these fans tick," he said. "There's a lot of similar DNA between hardcore pop culture fans and sports fans, but there are differences. So, we're truly understanding why they want to come, what will motivate them to be there. Anything we can do to engage with fans and communities helps us have insights into what they'll love, and if we know that, we're able to build it for them."

"I think for a fan, it's getting what they love and discovering something they didn't know they love, and doing it all with people that are just as passionate as you are."

Tickets are on sale now at

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