If you’re a sports fan like me, the fall is the best time of the year! Major League Baseball playoffs are in full swing, college basketball and football are starting up, the NHL and NBA have new seasons, but of course, best of all, the NFL is back. As the dog days of summer approach, NFL teams return to training camp to prepare for a new season. But can I buy stock in the NFL?
The NFL is the king of professional sports, with 2019 revenues of $16 billion. If you’re keeping track, that’s nearly $1 billion per week. Revenues understandably fell in 2020 to $12 billion, given that most stadiums did not allow fans. Given that the NFL season is six months long-running from September to February, twelve-month revenues would be $24 billion last year. That’s more than companies like PayPal, Starbucks, and Salesforce.com. That’s $6 billion per quarter, with recurring revenues like season ticket sales, merchandise, and TV deals. Sounds like a pretty good business to me!
The real question is, can we buy NFL stock? The answer unfortunately is no. Just like with the NBA, the NFL is privately owned and operated. It is not a publicly-traded company and chances are it won’t be anytime soon. But hey, that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in companies that are associated with the NFL. The NFL is a global sports juggernaut and holds up a lot of other industries alongside it. Just because you can’t buy shares of the NFL, it doesn’t mean you can’t invest in it!
Investing in the NFL
If you’re looking to buy stock in the NFL, consider some of these companies on our list. They may not be the first stocks you think of, but they make a lot of money off of the NFL product.
Since you can’t trade stock in the NFL, you can buy these instead. They say that money breeds more money, so it’s not a surprise that a money-making machine like the NFL has some lucrative partners! Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to invest in the NFL.
Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS): Wait, Walt Disney? You bet! Disney is much more than just Mickey Mouse and Frozen these days. It’s a global multimedia and broadcasting juggernaut that owns not one, not two, but three NFL broadcasting channels.
That’s right. The NFL has exclusive broadcasting rights with ESPN, ABC, and Fox Sports, all entities that are owned by Disney. The company secured the lucrative Monday Night Football on ESPN by paying $2.7 billion per season.
That is some serious money being thrown around. The entire NFL broadcasting deal is in the neighborhood of $100 billion, so if you want to invest in the NFL, invest in its TV rights.
What’s more, ESPN is one of the most popular platforms for fantasy football leagues. The brand is the U.S. sports leader and continues to be synonymous with the NFL.
Can I buy stock in the NFL? No. But who knew trading Disney would be a piece of the NFL pie? And you can trade options if you can get Disney for cheaper than buying shares.
More Ways to Buy Stock In the NFL
Nike (NYSE: NKE): Just like with the NBA, Nike produces the jerseys and the cleats for nearly every NFL player. Merchandise sales are shared equally amongst the teams no matter how many jerseys they sell.
Whether it is the Dallas Cowboys or the Jacksonville Jaguars, every team receives the same split from the NFL. The company that makes all of that gear? Nike. Not only is Nike a great investment as it is, but anytime you watch a game on TV and tens of thousands of fans are wearing jerseys. All of that is profit for Nike.
PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP): The Super Bowl is the single biggest sporting event in American sports. It’s also a global event that is broadcasted to over 130 countries around the world. PepsiCo is the official sponsor of the Super Bowl and the lucrative Halftime Show every year.
PepsiCo also owns Gatorade which is the official drink of the NFL and is seen up and down each NFL team sideline. The Gatorade tub dumped on the winning coach is a football tradition, so it’s easy to see why PepsiCo is ingrained into the NFL culture. It also happens to be one of the league’s biggest sponsors!
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT): It’s not surprising we get some big tech companies on this list. I could have chosen Amazon since the company recently became the official broadcaster of Thursday Night Football each week. Microsoft provides the coaching staff of each team Surface tablets to watch video replays on. The partnership between Microsoft and the NFL also allows the Xbox video game console to release exclusive NFL content not available on the Playstation. During the pandemic, the NFL used Microsoft Teams to allow fans to remotely watch and ‘attend’ games.
Gambling and the NFL
DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG): If there is any market that could eventually take down TV rights, it’s sports betting. It is estimated that in 2020, the global sports betting market was worth over $200 billion. By 2025, the U.S. legal sports betting market alone is estimated to be worth upwards of $40 billion. DraftKings is the official sports betting partner of the NFL, as well as the largest Daily Fantasy Sports site in the world. There are those who watch the NFL for fantasy, and those that are betting on it. The group that is doing neither is getting smaller and smaller each year.
The Bullish Bears Fantasy Stock Draft
I already talked about just how popular fantasy football has become during the NFL season. We here at the Bullish Bears love the NFL as much as we love a great earnings report. So to get ready for the upcoming season, I am creating a fun fantasy stock lineup with some of our favorite stocks. Without further ado, the 2021 Bullish Bears Fantasy Stock team!
Starting at Quarterback is Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL): I could have chosen Apple here, but Google is fast, has great vision, and excels at finding things. These are all key elements to being a successful quarterback. The Android platform works with all different brands, just as a quarterback should be flexible and work with all different types of plays. We should all feel good about slotting in Google as the leader of our team!
Starting at Running Back is Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA): Just as with your top running backs in fantasy football, Tesla has the highest potential ceiling and the lowest potential floor. With our fantasy running back we want a player that can hit top speed, requires little maintenance and is sleek when leaving others in its dust. Investing in Tesla will require high capital upfront, just like drafting a first-round bellcow back.
Starting at Wide Receiver is Costco (NASDAQ: COST): With your top wide receiver in fantasy football, you want a player that is as steady as they come. They should be reliable with a high floor and a chance for a higher ceiling. To me, Costco is one of the safest stocks on the market and even pays a nice dividend. You can take risks, or you can just take the steady riser that is the foundation of your portfolio, or fantasy team.
Can I Buy Stock in the NFL FLEX Positions
Starting at Tight End is Palantir (NYSE: PLTR): Why Palantir? Because like tight ends, a lot of people don’t actually know what they do. Okay, that was a joke, but Palantir is slowly starting to become a powerhouse stock that a lot of growth investors like for the future. Like tight ends, Palantir is not yet as prolific or valuable as say a running back or wide receiver.
Starting at the Flex position is NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA): NVIDIA is quickly becoming one of the most versatile chip makers in the world. The company builds CPUs and GPUs for computers, gaming consoles, electric vehicles, data centers, and even cryptocurrency miners. In your flex spot, you want to play a player that can do a little bit of everything and that is NVIDIA to a tee.
Well that was fun! Are we happy with the BullishBears fantasy stock team? I think that these five stocks would make a solid foundation for any diversified portfolio. As with fantasy football, anything can happen on the markets, but this is about as well as a stock draft can go in my opinion!
Can I Buy Stock in the NFL Conclusion
Can I buy stocck in the NFL? No. But there really isn’t another sports league like it in the world. You can argue that the English Premier League and other European soccer leagues are more of a global sport. But when it comes to professional sports, there is just something about the big five North American sports leagues that dominate global headlines.
Is it because there are only 17 games in an NFL season? Is it because nearly every franchise has a rich history? Or is it because football is a sport that is the heart and soul of America? Perhaps all of the above. The NFL is the King of sports and makes nearly as much annual revenue as the NBA, NHL, and MLB combined, with only a fraction of the games. Investing in industry leaders is a sound practice, and investing in companies associated with the NFL is a winning proposition for your portfolio!