In his new role Ashford will oversee Fanatics’ human resources team and will report to CEO Michael Rubin on matters including culture, talent and diversity and inclusion. He will also report to Fanatics CFO Glenn H Schiffman regarding HR infrastructure, strategy, policies and operations.
Ashford will work within Fanatics’ three business areas – commerce, collectibles and betting and gaming.
“From the moment I met Michael Rubin and listened to his vision for expanding the Fanatics business, which was rooted in empowering the company’s incredible global workforce and creating a world-class culture, I knew that this was the perfect place for me,” said Ashford.
“Fanatics is a special company, one that I’ve long admired, where I can take my energy and expertise to further establish a diverse, platform-wide company culture comprised of the best and brightest people that want to be a part of a once-in-a-generation company.”
Previously, Ashford held senior HR roles at a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola and Motorola. Later, he moved beyond HR to become president of cruise ship company Holland America Line.
“Culture is everything and our success is directly related to our incredible associates based around the world,” said Rubin.
“As we continue to grow and expand, it becomes even more important to double down on organisational development and I can’t think of a better person to lead this charge than Orlando.”
While Fanatics currently deals mainly with sports apparel sales, its long-rumored foray into gambling appears to be imminent.
Earlier this month, Rubin said that Fanatics’ sports betting arm, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, is set to launch in January after a number of new hires to bolster its team – including Andrea Ellis as chief financial officer, Jason White as chief marketing officer and ex-FanDuel executive Matt King as CEO.
The business is yet to announce the technology provider it will use, after quashing rumours earlier this year that it would partner with Amelco.