Michael Rubin has always been entrepreneurial.
As a grade-schooler, he sold vegetable seeds door-to-door around his Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, neighborhood. Later, he organized neighborhood kids to shovel snow for cash. Another time, he opened a ski-tune-up operation in his parents’ basement.
As he got old, his companies have gotten bigger. Today, he is the majority owner and CEO of Kynetic, which includes e-commerce retailers Fanatics, Rue La La and ShopRunner — worth $2.9 billion.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Rubin pushed his companies and his deep Rolodex to help.
Fanatics, which produces the official MLB jerseys, stopped production in March and pivoted to make and then donate millions of PPE – masks and hospital gowns.
Now in mid-April he launched another campaign to address an issue exacerbated by the global shutdown: food insecurity.
The All In Challenge kicked off this week with a Rubin video on Twitter:
“Together what we want to do is literally build the largest movement…
best entertainers, celebrities, athletes, business titans,
….coming together to make a real impact on this issue,” he says.
The goal is to get celebrities to offer one-of-a-kind experiences and items; and then auction them off. So far less than a week later there are 145 offerings available.
Total donations are at $11.4 million and climbing fast.
Rubin, 47, who is a partner in the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils’ ownership group, started the process with tickets, travel and lodging to top-tier championship sporting events, including a luxury suite for 20 at the Super Bowl. He threw in a six figure Fanatics gift card. The package is worth more than $500,000 but is available to win with a donation as little as $10.
There are dozens of experiences available, with one winner drawn for each auction.
Contributors include co-hosting a show with Ellen DeGeneres, who also personally donated $1 million to the cause; a round of golf at Pebble Beach with Justin Timberlake and Bill Murray; and a private performance at your home from Justin Bieber. A walk-on role with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro in Martin Scorsese’s next film, plus lunch with Leo and the cast, has raised the most money so far.
Another set of prizes is being awarded via auction, like golf and dinner for ten with Peyton Manning, Meek Mill’s 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom, and a private magic show with David Blaine.
A handful of these auctions have hit six figures already.
The top auction involves new Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and includes four tickets to the Bucs’ home opener and either dinner or a workout with the six-time Super Bowl winner. Bidding reached $775,000 Sunday. Brady challenged his wife, Gisele Bundchen, as well as rapper Drake and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to also go “All In.”
All funds raised from this initiative will be donated to Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry and Americas Food Fund, which directly benefits World Central Kitchen and Feeding America. These charities work with food insecurity issues facing kids who usually get meals at now-closed schools, the elderly population cut off from food sources, and the millions of people losing their jobs.
Rubin says he is just getting started and targeting a goal of $100 million for the All In project. As he kicked off the effort, Rubin said:
“I believe when the world faces a crisis, businesses and sports have an obligation to step up and make a difference.”