Can I buy stock in the NBA? Wouldn’t that be nice? How does this sound like as a company? Billions of happy customers around the world, thousands of happy employees, and over $8 billion in revenue per year, that’s dominated its market for over 70 years? Personally, I think that sounds like an awesome company to invest in! It’s too bad that the NBA is a privately owned company and isn’t available to trade on the public markets. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun thinking about how great of an investment it would make!
How to Invest in the NBA
So you can’t buy direct shares of NBA stock in your brokerage account. But that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in the NBA itself.
Exclusive partnership deals with the NBA are just as lucrative for companies, some of which are available to be traded on Wall Street.
Next time you are watching an NBA game on TV, take a look at how many companies have product placement and brand advertising during the broadcast.
It’s everywhere. In fact, some of these companies are going to be seen in other sports as well. So that means they’re getting more air time than just with NBA games. Let’s take a look at some of the best stocks to buy for investing in the NBA.
NBA Stock and Nike (NYSE: NKE)
A no-brainer here, Nike is the brand most closely associated with the NBA and the sport of basketball. It all began back in the late 80s when Michael Jordan signed on for a shoe deal with the company. Until then, Nike had primarily made track and field shoes. Basketball was a new frontier that the growing company was looking to conquer.
Well, they certainly chose the right player to anchor themselves to. Michael Jordan has made over $1 billion throughout his contracts with Nike. In 2017-2018, Nike became the official on-court apparel maker for the NBA, a deal worth an estimated $1 billion over its eight-year duration. The Jordan brand alone makes the company over $3.5 billion per year, with Jordan brand ambassadors like Russell Westbrook, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson, and NBA Finals participant Chris Paul.
Under Armour (NYSE: UAA)
The story hasn’t quite been as profitable for Nike’s rival Under Armour. Their market share and market cap have both plummeted over the past few years. Sure, Under Armour managed to snag Steph Curry away from Nike and recently signed Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid as well. But Under Armour just doesn’t hold the same street cred as Nike. And the company remains on the fringes of the NBA brand association.
PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP)
There are few things more synonymous with professional sports than the Gatorade brand. PepsiCo and the NBA have a multi-year partnership for Gatorade to be the official drink on NBA benches. They have naming rights to the NBA’s developmental league which was renamed the G-league a few years back. The G in G-league uses the same G from the Gatorade logo. So there’s a ton of brand and product placement in the name of the league.
NBA Stock and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)
This one probably isn’t as obvious, but Microsoft has become a major sponsor of the NBA. Could it be because former CEO Steve Ballmer is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers? It very well could be. Microsoft and the NBA signed a multi-year partnership that’ll see the league utilize its Azure cloud software. As well as incorporating Microsoft Surface tablets into the game. Microsoft already has its Surface tablets being used on the sidelines in the NFL. So it only seems natural that they’ll be in the NBA too. There’s also been talk about utilizing augmented reality technologies as well as instant language translations and live replays and video feeds. Even if it’s not for the NBA partnership, Microsoft is always one of the best long-term investments you can make!
What if We Could Invest In NBA Players?
Let’s get creative! Imagine if we could actually invest in NBA players to see their stock rise. We’ve organized some of the best players in the NBA today into investing groups. See if your investing style matches up with the players you cheer for!
Lebron James: It’s hard to think of a player that’s dominated the NBA quite like Lebron has over the past 18 seasons. He’s widely considered one of the greatest players to ever play the game alongside Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. These players are the equivalent of the blue-chip stocks that make up the bedrock of long-term, diversified portfolios. Just think of Lebron as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)).
Chris Paul: He’s not called the Point God for nothing. Paul is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history and led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals. He puts up consistent numbers each year and is in the top 5 in all-time steals and assists. Paul is the player that makes every player around him better and is the type of stock that makes the foundation of any index fund or ETF.
Steph Curry: Perhaps the most prolific shooter to ever suit up in the NBA, Curry can be considered a newcomer to the blue-chip stock group. He still has some productive seasons of growth ahead. Compared to Lebron and Paul, Curry is more like a PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL).
Giannis Antetokounmpo: The Greek Freak just lifted his first NBA Championship and NBA Finals MVP award, and is still only 26 years old. Giannis signed the largest NBA contract in history last season, and so far it’s an investment that has paid off for the Milwaukee Bucks. He’s like the Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) of NBA players. The sky’s the limit for his future.
NBA Stock Players
Damian Lillard: Dame Time has stayed loyal to the Portland Trailblazers. He seems to be a player that gets better with age. At 31, Lillard still has some years of growth ahead of him. In the past few seasons, he’s become one of the league’s most efficient shooters. Efficiency and getting better with age? Sounds like Lillard’s Pacific Northwest neighbor Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).
Joel Embiid: Embiid proved himself as the leader of the 76ers this year. He was a frontrunner for the NBA MVP award before injuries derailed his season. His slogan has always been to “trust the process”. And no company has a more trusted process than Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google Search business.
Zion Williamson: The jury’s still out on Zion, the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. At times he has looked unstoppable, but injuries have slowed down his first two seasons. The upside is there. But he still needs to put it all together for a full season. Zion is like high-risk, small-cap biotech stock: he has the potential to be a league MVP. If he doesn’t get healthier, you may be waiting a long time for the stock to pay off.
More Players Continued
Ja Morant: The man who went second behind Zion in 2019, Morant has had more success than Zion so far; but not by much. Morant has been flashy, but his overall numbers aren’t that impressive. He often goes viral on social media after a jaw-dropping dunk, but quickly fades away until his next one. Morant should remind you of that genetics stock that has all of FinTwit rallying but is forgotten about when the price declines.
Lamelo Ball: So far so good for the second Ball brother to make it to the NBA. Lamelo took home the NBA Rookie of the Year award this past season and may have Minnesota and Golden State regretting that they passed over him in the draft. The problem is, this season’s rookie class was the weakest in years. So being the top rookie doesn’t say much about Ball’s long-term potential. Ball is like the SPAC sponsor that has already delivered an overhyped, underperforming merger before (sorry Lonzo).
NBA Stock and Companies to Consider
The FAANG Stocks: FAANG stocks have become the new leaders of the stock market, replacing the Blue-chip companies with fast-growing multiples and trillion-dollar valuations. These are the next generation of Blue-chip stocks that own the spotlight today and have the potential to be some of the greatest of all time.
The Blue-Chip Stocks: Blue-chip stocks are tried and tested, and have been providing investors with steady returns for years. Nobody questions these companies and their place within the hierarchy of the market, so which players fall into this category for you?
The Small-Cap Companies: Small-cap companies are inherently riskier investments, as the market has yet to see everything they have to offer. These investments could return multi-bag returns or just as easily turn out to be a bust.
These are all stocks to consider even if there isn’t an NBA stock to trade. The good news is that you have options.
NBA Stock Conclusion
Aside from soccer, basketball is probably the most popular sport around the world and is enjoyed by fans on every continent. The NBA is truly an international league. They have regular-season MVP Nikola Jokic from Serbia and the NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo from Greece. With a global audience, billions of dollars in revenues, and lucrative sponsorships from some of the world’s biggest companies, the NBA sure sounds like it would be an incredible company to invest in! But there’s no NBA stock.
Investing in NBA players was a fun exercise and something that NBA franchises need to do when evaluating what kind of contract a player deserves. While they probably don’t think of them as Blue-chip, FAANG, or Small-cap stocks, teams do factor in what kind of return the player will provide for the money they are paid. It’s a bit like stock picking, except instead of price to earnings or revenue growth, NBA teams look at points per game and shooting percentage!
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