Sports merchandise, e-commerce, and fan collectible giant Fanatics today announced it has added two new members to its board. Lydia Jett, managing partner and head of global e-commerce and U.S. consumer internet sector investments at SoftBank Investment Advisers, and Jonathan Mildenhall, cofounder and executive chairman of TwentyFirstCenturyBrand consultancy and former CMO of Airbnb.
“Fanatics is in the midst of incredible transformation, and the deep expertise and insight that Lydia and Jonathan both bring to the board will be vital as we unlock a new digital experience for sports fans globally,” said Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin in a statement. “They are both visionaries in their respective fields who will provide invaluable support and guidance as we continue building a revolutionary sports platform.”
Jett has been working closely with the company since SoftBank led a $1 billion investment round back in 2017. Mildenhall is perhaps a better-known name, given his past as a marketing executive at Coca-Cola, and then for helping to grow Airbnb from 2014 to 2018—making provocative work that set the tone for the brand’s overall voice and image, like its 2017 Super Bowl ad “We Accept.” He’s also been an outspoken advocate for pushing the marketing and advertising industry forward on diversity issues.
Mildenhall is now one of four independent members of the Fanatics board, joining Magic Johnson, Storch Advisors CEO Gerald Storch, and former WW International CEO Mindy Grossman. His experience across both major heritage and new tech brands is something Fanatics undoubtedly sees as a significant resource as it continues its drive to evolve and conquer the $500 billion sports business, and become what Rubin calls the planet’s “leading digital sports platform.”