By Weston Blasi
Sports franchises being publicly traded entities is rare, but the concept is not entirely new. Several sports franchises are publicly traded in some manner, or are part of a larger company listed on a stock exchange.
In recent months, Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC owner John Henry attempted to make those teams part of a public holding, but the talks fell apart, according to reports .
The $8 billion deal would have combined Fenway Sports Group LLC, which owns the Red Sox and the English soccer club Liverpool FC, with RedBall Acquisition Corp. /zigman2/quotes/221525410/composite RBAC -0.79% , a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) dedicated to sports business.
The RedBall SPAC was founded by former Oakland A’s general manager and “Moneyball” legend Billy Beane and Gerry Cardinale, the CEO of private equity firm RedBird Capital. SPACs, which are essentially blank-check companies, raise money through an initial public offering (IPO) to make an acquisition.
Here’s a list of some professional sports teams you can invest in:
Manchester United FC
Manchester United /zigman2/quotes/205140601/composite MANU -0.80% , the most decorated soccer club in England, has 20 Premier League titles and has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 2012.
The stock opened at $14 a share and has only seen modest growth since then, trading at above $15.78 per share as of Friday.
Just like any other publicly traded company, Manchester United has to disclose earnings and revenues, which are tied to things like TV contracts and ticket sales.
Manchester United’s stock carries a market cap of $2.6 billion, but would likely fetch more than that if sold on the open market. Forbes has valued the team at $3.81 billion as of 2020.
New York Knicks, New York Rangers
The Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203292767/composite MSGS +0.59% encompasses several sports holdings from principal owner Jim Dolan. These include the NBA’s New York Knicks and their G League affiliate the Westchester Knicks, the NHL’s New York Rangers and their AHL affiliate the Hartford Wolf Pack, and MSG’s eSports business.
Because both the Knicks and Rangers have been part of larger holdings from Cablevision and subsequently Madison Square Garden over the years, it would not be possible to get relevant data on how the Knicks and Rangers have performed over time.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment /zigman2/quotes/217765819/composite MSGE +0.15% was spun off from its sports business in April 2020, creating a separate publicly traded company for MSG’s entertainment arm which includes the Madison Square Garden arena in New York City and Radio City Music Hall.
An investment in Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. isn’t necessarily an investment in just the Knicks or Rangers franchise, but an investment in all the teams listed above. Profits for the company are tied to things like TV contracts and ticketing revenue.
Madison Square Garden Sports has a market cap of $4.34 billion. Forbes has valued the Knicks at $4.6 billion and the Rangers at $1.65 billion as of 2020.
The most successful club in Italy’s Serie A soccer league has been listed on the Borsa Italiana stock exchange since 2001.
Juventus /zigman2/quotes/200971889/delayed IT:JUVE +1.38% is currently trading at €0.838 per share, down over 30% from its original listing. Juventus’s stock did get a boost after news of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo transferring to the club in 2018, but most of those gains have dissipated since then.
The stock carries a market cap of $1.13, but like Manchester United would likely go for more if sold. Juventus is owned by the Agnellis, a dynastic Italian family who founded Fiat /zigman2/quotes/206209674/delayed CA:FCA.UT +5.60% Motor Company.