NFL Lockout and NBA Lockout: How to Invest in Professional Sports Teams

Long-term growth opportunities abound in the sporting goods industry.

— Ben Shepherd, Global ETF Profits

With this morning’s extremely weak June employment report showing a jobs gain of only 18,000 and an unemployment rate rising to 9.2%, news that the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball League (NBA) are both engaged in player lockouts is a national disgrace. 

In the case of the NFL, we have an incredibly profitable business enterprise that generates more than enough money for all involved, yet the billionaire owners insist on fighting with multi-millionaire players over how to divvy up $9.3 billion in revenues. The specifics of the dispute can be read here, but the bottom line is that both sides are incredibly rich and will do just fine regardless of the outcome. The NBA situation is different because the league reportedly lost $1.5 billion over the past five years, but it’s not clear that player salaries are the problem. In contrast, what is clear is that the American public – many of whom are unemployed and losing their homes – are set to be deprived of what little joy is left in this world: watching football and basketball on TV.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not laying all of the blame on the owners for the disputes. Lockouts by owners are a perfectly legal means of asserting pressure in collective bargaining situations, just as employees have the right to strike. In fact, the NFL players’ lawsuit claiming that the March 12th owner lockout was illegal because there was no player union (players had intentionally decertified their union right before the lockout) was ludicrous. The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals described just how ludicrous the players’ argument was in its decision today in favor of the owners and denying the petition to enjoin the owner lockout.

How to Buy Into Professional Sports Teams

As I’ve said before, if you can’t beat them, join them. Sports owners are raking in the bucks and investors might as well benefit monetarily.

No professional sports team is publicly-traded, so investors can only participate by owning shares in the corporate owners of the teams. Below is a list of companies that either own professional sports teams directly or are affiliated with the owner of the teams. If you don’t want to risk owning the individual company, I also provide the exchange-traded fund (ETF) that carries the highest-weighting of the company in its portfolio. You can find the ETF weightings of any stock by going to this ETF website or this ETF website.

Investing in Professional Sports Teams

Sports Team

Company Owner or Affiliate of Owner


Company Weighting in ETF Portfolio

Atlanta Braves

Liberty Capital Group (NasdaqGS: LCAPA)

PowerShares Dynamic Media (NYSE: PBS)


Chicago Cubs

TD Ameritrade (NasdaqGS: AMTD)

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Broker-Dealers (NYSE: IAI)


Miami Heat

Carnival (NYSE: CCL)

PowerShares Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment (NYSE: PEJ)


New York Knicks & New York Rangers

Madison Square Garden (NYSE: MSG)

First Trust Consumer Discretionary AlphaDEX (NYSE: FXD)


Seattle Mariners

Nintendo (Other OTC: NTDOY.PK)

iShares MSCI Japan (NYSE: EWJ)


Toronto Blue Jays

Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI)

SPDR S&P International Telecom (NYSE: IST)


Invest in ETFs with the Help of Global ETF Profits

Global ETF Profits co-editors Ben Shepherd and Yiannis Mostrous focus on low-cost ETFs and ETNs that are most likely to outperform the overall market – both equity and fixed income — going forward. They are not “index huggers” but try to beat the market with their contrarian take on the best industry sectors. In fact, Ben and Yiannis have identified 25 ETFs in a multitude of different sectors that are in buy range right now.  

To find out the specific names of all of Ben and Yiannis’ favorite ETFs, consider giving Global ETF Profits a try today!