You don’t need me to tell you that the sports world is practically made of money. From eye-popping salaries to endorsements on top of endorsements, it’s an endless stream of cash.
For us Monday-mornrning quarterbacks and armchair general managers, we can only shake our heads, right? How could we possibly make any money alongside our favorite teams and players?
Truth is, we’re a long, long way off from a publicly traded sports team – although, if you’re a football fan, you might be interested in the strange rise and fall of Fantex, the “athlete stock exchange.”
In fact, I’m not sure we’ll ever see that happen. Can you imagine a blockbuster trade getting torpedoed by a shareholder revolt? Granted, “shareholder revolt” probably sounds great if you’re a Knicks fan (or a Jets fan, or a Lions fan… you know I could go on!).
The Green Bay Packers are an oddball in this sense. They’re a publicly owned non-profit, and the team has in fact “issued” hundreds of thousands of “shares” a few times over the years.
So why the scare quotes?
Well, the answer’s right there in the fine print: “Common stock does not constitute an investment in ‘stock’ in the common sense of the term. Purchasers should not purchase common stock with the purpose of making a profit.”
It’s a head-scratcher, but, basically, the “stock” is pretty much worthless. Even if the Packers were sold, the stockholders wouldn’t get any of the profit.
All in all, it’s a feel-good type of situation for the fans.
But something funny happened recently.
One of the most savvy media moguls of all time purchased an entire sport. And not just any sport – it’s one of the most popular competitions in the world.
In terms of total fans, soccer takes the top global spot in terms of popularity. It’s not hard to understand why eight top marketers paid $75 million each — $600 million total — to sponsor the most recent World Cup in Brazil for just seven days.
At the same time, advertisers paid around $75 million to buy about 20, 30-second spots during the Super Bowl broadcast, the biggest single-day sporting event in the world (and also one the biggest marketing events, too).
The NFL is tops when it comes to views (as in, eyeballs focused on the TV), but you might be surprised what comes in at number two. And, in fact, my most recent issue of Hidden Profits goes deep into this sport and how you can in fact invest alongside it.
You might recognize the name John Malone. He’s the head of Liberty Media, which has its hands in so many companies and ventures it’ll make your head spin.
Malone is a notoriously deft businessman. He’s gone toe to toe with Rupert Murdoch, and Al Gore once called him Darth Vader. His resume is studded with success and profits.
Well, he just became the sole owner of the second most-watched sport in the world. And, in typical Malone fashion, he’s created a way for everyday investors to get in on the action.
John Del Vecchio
Editor, Hidden Profits