Saj Cherian

Chief of Staff and Head of Fanatics Ventures, Fanatics

About

As Chief of Staff and Head of Fanatics Ventures, Saj works closely with CEO Michael Rubin across several areas, including business development and partnerships, executive and board recruiting, capital raising, and investments to build the leading global digital sports platform. Michael enlisted Saj as Employee No. 2 at Kynetic (the internet holding company and owner of Fanatics, The Rue Gilt Groupe, and ShopRunner) to re-launch Fanatics immediately following eBay’s $2.4 billion acquisition of GSI Commerce in June 2011. As Michael’s partner over the last decade, he helped raise over $4 billion dollars in capital, recruit more than 40 C-level executives and board members, complete more than 15 strategic acquisitions, cultivate 10 long-term strategic partnerships (including every major U.S. professional sports league), and accelerate mobile sales. He also helped launch and scale the REFORM Alliance and the ALL IN Challenge, two national social impact organizations focused on criminal justice reform and food insecurity caused by COVID-19, respectively.

Saj led Kynetic’s aggressive push into mobile commerce, given his prior decade of experience in building mobile technology businesses as a venture capital investor at Valhalla Partners, head of wireless strategy and business development for NBC Universal, operating executive at Virgin Mobile USA, and management consultant at McKinsey & Company. He built one of the first carrier-led mobile advertising businesses at Virgin Mobile in the lead up to the startup wireless carrier’s successful 2007 IPO. A Marshall Scholar, Saj earned an M. Phil. in European Politics from the University of Oxford and an A.B. in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University.

A recognized expert on investing in sports, he is a frequent speaker at MIT Sloan’s Sports Analytics Conference. Saj currently serves on the Board of Directors for powersports leader Comoto Holdings. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he chairs its Committee on Term Membership and previously served on its Committee on Corporate Affairs. Locally, Saj served as one of the first co-chairs of Greenlight Fund Philadelphia, which invests in social entrepreneurs in Philadelphia’s high-poverty urban areas.

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