By Weston Blasi
Sports fans can have real skin in the game.
While it is rare for sports franchises to be publicly traded entities, the concept is not entirely foreign. Take Manchester United /zigman2/quotes/205140601/composite MANU -0.93% , for example, which has seen its shares rise recently as billionaires throw their hats in the ring to take over the iconic English soccer club, with British businessman Michael Knighton floating a takeover plan early this month. Then, Tesla TSLA CEO Elon Musk joked on Twitter about purchasing Manchester United , before British billionaire and Ineos CEO Sir Jim Ratcliffe told MarketWatch that he is interested in buying the beloved football club .
The Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC owner John Henry made headlines in 2021 when they attempted to make those teams part of a public holding. The $8 billion deal would have combined Fenway Sports Group LLC, which owns the Red Sox and the English Premier League soccer club Liverpool FC, with RedBall Acquisition Corp. RBAC, a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, dedicated to sports business — but those talks fell apart .
From the archives (March 2021): LeBron James takes ownership stake in parent company of Boston Red Sox and soccer power Liverpool
Several sports franchises are publicly traded in some manner, or are part of a larger company listed on a stock exchange.
The following is a list of professional sports teams you can invest in.
Manchester United FC
Manchester United, the most decorated soccer club in England, has 20 top-league titles and has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 2012.
The stock opened at $14 a share and has seen modest losses since then, trading at $13.94 per share as of Thursday after peaking above $26 in August 2018 .
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. The Glazer family, which also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is the majority shareholder of club. (It should be noted that the Glazers are coming under pressure to sell the club , which has spurred the chatter about a takeover.)
Manchester United carries a market cap of $2.23 billion but would likely fetch more than that if sold on the open market. Forbes has valued the team at $4.6 billion .
New York Knicks and New York Rangers
The Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203292767/composite MSGS +0.68% encompasses several sports holdings of principal owner Jim Dolan. These include the NBA’s New York Knicks and their G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, as well as the NHL’s New York Rangers and their AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, plus 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, relevant data on how investments in the Knicks and Rangers have performed over time are not available.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment /zigman2/quotes/217765819/composite MSGE +0.25% was spun off from its sports business in April 2020, creating a separate publicly traded company for MSG’s entertainment arm, which includes the famed Madison Square Garden arena and Radio City Music Hall.
An investment in Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. isn’t necessarily an investment in just the Knicks and Rangers, however, but in all the teams under the entity’s umbrella. Profits for the company are tied to things like TV contracts and ticketing revenue.
Madison Square Garden Sports has a market cap of $3.9 billion . Forbes has valued the Knicks at $5.8 billion and the Rangers at $2 billion as of 2021
The most successful club in Italy’s Serie A soccer league has been listed on the Borsa Italiana stock exchange since 2001.