Skip to content

Publicly Traded Sports Teams to Invest in 2024

Publicly Traded Sports Teams to Invest in 2023
Diana Paluteder

Summary: For millennia, sporting events have captivated audiences. Historically, aside from gambling, only organizers and elite athletes profited from these events. However, today, it’s possible to be an investor in one of the publicly traded sports teams by signing up with a brokerage account like eToro.

Highly Rated Stock Trading & Investing Platform

  • Invest in 2,800+ stocks and other assets including 70+ cryptocurrencies and commodities.

  • 0% commission on buying stocks - buy in bulk or just a fraction from as little as $10. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.

  • Copy top-performing traders in real time, automatically.

  • eToro USA is registered with FINRA for securities trading.

30+ million Users
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs, only real Crypto assets available. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest.

Top 3 publicly traded sports teams

For many, “investing in sports” immediately conjures images of betting slips, odds, and last-minute game predictions. While betting remains a popular way for enthusiasts to engage with their favorite sports, it’s not the only route to capitalizing on the immense value of the sports industry.

Indeed, beyond the traditional betting channels, investing in sports team stocks offers a more conventional and potentially stable avenue for those looking to diversify their portfolios.

Here are three sports teams that are publicly listed and can be readily purchased on trading platforms such as eToro:

  1. Madison Square Garden Sports Corp (NYSE: MSGS);
  2. Manchester United PLC (NYSE: MANU);
  3. Atlanta Braves Holding Inc (NASDAQ: BATRK). 

1. Madison Square Garden Sports (MSGS)

Madison Square Garden Sports (MSGS)
Source: Msg.com

Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (NYSE: MSGS), often abbreviated as MSG Sports, is an American sports holding company primarily focused on professional sports teams and live entertainment. Based in New York City, it’s best known for owning the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). 

Other assets under the MSG Sports umbrella include two minor league teams: the Westchester Knicks, functioning as the sole G-League associate of the Knicks, and the Hartford Wolf Pack, which acts as the Rangers’ player training team in the American Hockey League (AHL). Additionally, the Company has made strides into the burgeoning e-sports domain via Knicks Gaming.

Madison Square Garden Sports stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker MSGS and is a component of the Russell 1000 and S&P 600 indexes. 

For a detailed look, read our dedicated guide on how to buy MSG Sports stock

Your capital is at risk.


2. Manchester United (MANU) 

Manchester United (MANU) 
Source: Manutd.com

If you want more targeted exposure in an individual sports team, consider Manchester United PLC (NYSE: MANU): the corporate entity behind Manchester United Football Club, the UK’s most celebrated team in the Premier League. Based in Manchester, the company not only manages the football operations but also oversees the club’s commercial endeavors, broadcasting rights, and merchandising activities, making it a significant player in the global sports business landscape. 

Since 2012, a portion of the club’s shares has been listed on the NYSE under MANU, but the Glazer family maintains majority ownership and control of the club.

To learn more, check out our in-depth guide on how to invest in MANU

Your capital is at risk.


3. Atlanta Braves (BATRK)

Atlanta Braves (BATRK)
Source: Bravesholdings.com

Atlanta Braves Holdings (NASDAQ: BATRK), via its fully-owned subsidiary, Braves Holdings, LLC, holds indirect ownership of the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball team and its affiliated mixed-use development project, The Battery Atlanta.

The Atlanta Braves Holdings’ Series A and Series C common stocks are listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market with the ticker symbols BATRA and BATRK, respectively.

Your capital is at risk.


How to buy a share of a sports team: Step-by-step process

Now, let’s look at the step-by-step process of buying shares of publicly traded sports teams. 

Step 1: Choose a broker

Before you can start investing, you’ll need to set up an account with a reputable stock broker.

To quickly and safely buy shares of publicly traded sports teams, we recommend using eToro, which is fully regulated and offers the following features:

  • Commission-free stock and ETF trading; 
  • 2,000+ stocks from 17 exchanges;
  • Fractional shares;
  • User-friendly platform.

Highly Rated Stock Trading & Investing Platform

  • Invest in 2,800+ stocks and other assets including 70+ cryptocurrencies and commodities.

  • 0% commission on buying stocks - buy in bulk or just a fraction from as little as $10. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.

  • Copy top-performing traders in real time, automatically.

  • eToro USA is registered with FINRA for securities trading.

30+ million Users
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs, only real Crypto assets available. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest.

How to choose an online broker?

Choosing an online broker is a critical step for any investor. Whether you’re a seasoned trader or just starting out, the right broker can make a significant difference in your investment journey. 

When assessing brokers, take into account the following factors:

  • Product listings: Make sure that the broker provides access to your chosen sports stocks as well as any other instruments that interest you, such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds, commodities, cryptocurrencies, or currencies, as well as more complex derivative financial instruments like options, CFDs, or futures;
  • Fees and commissions: Verify they offer affordable and competitive rates;
  • Security: Opt for a broker that incorporates advanced security measures, such as two-factor authentication (2FA), to protect your data and funds;
  • Regulatory compliance: The broker should be regulated by a reputable financial authority. In the US, for example, brokers should be registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);
  • Deposit and withdrawal options: Make sure their deposit and withdrawal methods suit you and are inexpensive;
  • Research tools: Access to market data, news, and analysis can be helpful; 
  • Fractional shares: Fractional shares allow investors to buy stocks or ETFs based on the dollar amount, which is particularly useful for investors with limited capital or those intending to implement a dollar-cost averaging (DCA) strategy. 

Step 2: Choose an investment

Investing in a sports team can be an exciting venture, combining sports thrill with the potential for financial return. However, like always, investing in the stock market is an intricate endeavor that requires careful consideration. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right sports team to invest in:

  • Understand your motivation: Are you investing because you’re passionate about the sport/team, or is it purely for financial gains? Ideally, it should be a mix of both, as emotional decisions can sometimes cloud financial judgment;
  • Research the league and sport: Certain sports and leagues have more profitability and global appeal. For instance, football (soccer) teams in the English Premier League or the NFL teams in the US might have wider global recognition and revenue streams;
  • Financial health and valuation: Review the team’s financial statements. Are they profitable? Do they have a significant amount of debt? Understand the team’s valuation and see if it aligns with its growth potential;
  • Revenue streams: Examine the team’s main sources of revenue (ticket sales, broadcasting rights, merchandise, sponsorships, etc). Diverse revenue streams can indicate a healthier financial outlook;
  • The fan base and brand loyalty: A strong, loyal, growing fan base can be a significant asset. It can translate to better merchandise sales, higher ticket sales, and more valuable sponsorships;
  • Management and ownership: A team with competent management and a clear vision can lead to better performance both on and off the field;
  • Growth opportunities: Look for teams with potential growth opportunities, such as plans for stadium upgrades, entering new markets, or developing youth academies;
  • Risks: Understand the potential risks associated with the investment, like relegation (in certain football leagues), labor disputes, management issues, or financial irregularities.

Step 3: Place your order

Once you’ve decided on a stock, you can place your order by following these five steps:

  1. Make a deposit: Several funding methods will typically be available to you, including bank transfers, credit and debit cards, as well as third-party payment services like PayPal (PYPL). Keep in mind that it can sometimes take up to three days for the funds to reach your account;
  2. Find the stock: Search for your desired stock by its ticker symbol;
  3. Determine quantity: Decide the number of shares or dollar amount you want to invest; 
  4. Choose your order type: The most common types of orders are market orders (the best market price) or limit orders (predetermined price point);
  5. Double-check: Before finalizing the purchase, check all the details to ensure their accuracy. Once satisfied, submit the order to your broker for execution.

Step 4: Manage your portfolio

Regularly review and rebalance your portfolio to align with your investment goals while basing decisions on analytical data rather than emotions. Additionally, consulting with industry experts can offer invaluable insights, ensuring your investments are both passion-driven and profit-oriented.

Pros and cons of investing in sports stocks

Pros

Pros

  • Growth potential: With the rising popularity of sports globally, there’s substantial growth potential in merchandising, broadcasting rights, sponsorships, and digital platforms;
  • Diversification: Sports stocks can provide diversification to a portfolio, given their unique blend of entertainment, real estate, and consumer discretionary spending;
  • Fan loyalty: Die-hard fans often support their teams through thick and thin, providing a stable consumer base;
  • International reach: Top teams or franchises have a global fan base, opening doors to numerous international revenue streams;
  • Real estate development: Some sports franchises have substantial real estate assets or are involved in real estate development around their venues, which can be lucrative;
  • Digital & streaming opportunities: The rise of streaming platforms and digital media offers new revenue streams through online broadcasts, subscriptions, and content monetization.
Cons

Cons

  • Volatility: Team performances can influence stock prices, making them somewhat unpredictable;
  • Economic sensitivity: During economic downturns, discretionary spending on sports (tickets, merchandise) might decrease;
  • High competition: The sports industry is competitive. New leagues, formats, and even e-sports provide competition for consumer attention and dollars;
  • Regulatory & legal risks: Changes in broadcasting rights, league regulations, or labor agreements can impact profitability;
  • Injury and scandals: Injuries to key players or off-field scandals can adversely affect team performance and stock value;
  • Oversaturated in one area: Some franchises may overly rely on a single revenue stream, which can be risky. 

In conclusion 

In short, to invest in publicly traded sports teams, follow these four steps:

  1. Open an account with a stock broker;
  2. Research and decide on the right sport stock;
  3. Place your order;
  4. Periodically review and adjust your portfolio as needed. 

Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.

FAQs about how to buy publicly traded sports teams

How to invest in sports?

In contrast to the high-risk, high-reward nature of betting, purchasing stocks offers a more measured approach to sports investment. While there’s still risk involved, as with any investment, the potential for steady returns and dividends from successful franchises can be enticing for long-term investors.

Can I buy shares in a sports team?

If a sports team is publicly traded, you can purchase shares through a brokerage account, just like you would for any other publicly traded company.

Where to buy sport team stocks?

You can buy sports team stocks on online trading platforms like eToro

Are any sports teams publicly traded?

While most sports teams around the world are privately owned, there are notable exceptions where teams are either publicly traded or part of larger publicly traded corporations.

Are there any publicly traded MLS teams?

No Major League Soccer (MLS) teams are currently public. However, options from other leagues are available for investors keen on investing in soccer. One example is Manchester United (NYSE: MANU).

What MLB teams are publicly traded?

Yes, there are publicly traded baseball teams, with the most notable being the Atlanta Braves, which trades under the Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LSXMA). 

Are there any publicly traded NBA teams?

While the NBA teams themselves are typically not public, there are investment opportunities related to NBA franchises. A prime example is Madison Square Garden Sports Corp., which owns the New York Knicks.

How many NFL teams are publicly traded?

No NFL teams are public in the traditional sense. However, the Green Bay Packers have a unique ownership model where fans can purchase “shares” during occasional stock sales.

What are some of the publicly traded sports teams in the USA?

Some publicly traded sports teams in the USA include Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. and New York Rangers (NHL), and Atlanta Braves Holdings Inc.

What sports teams are publicly traded?

Some sports teams that are publicly traded include Madison Square Garden Sports Corp., which owns the New York Knicks (NBA) and New York Rangers (NHL), Atlanta Braves Holdings Inc., which owns the Atlanta Braves (MLB), and Manchester United plc (NYSE: MANU), which owns the Manchester United Football Club (Premier League).

Why aren't sports teams publicly traded?

Sports teams aren’t usually publicly traded due to owners’ preference for maintaining control, avoiding the requirement for detailed financial disclosure, and the revenue volatility inherent in sports. Additionally, complex valuation issues and league regulations further complicate the process, making private ownership more attractive.

Highly Rated Stock Trading & Investing Platform

  • Invest in 2,800+ stocks and other assets including 70+ cryptocurrencies and commodities.

  • 0% commission on buying stocks - buy in bulk or just a fraction from as little as $10. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.

  • Copy top-performing traders in real time, automatically.

  • eToro USA is registered with FINRA for securities trading.

30+ million Users
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs, only real Crypto assets available. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest.

Weekly Finance Digest

By subscribing you agree with Finbold T&C’s & Privacy Policy

Related guides

Contents

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute financial, legal, tax, or investment advice. This site does not make any financial promotions, and all content is strictly informational. By using this site, you agree to our full disclaimer and terms of use. For more information, please read our complete Global Disclaimer.