Investing in Sports Teams: It’s Not Just for Billionaires Anymore


With the S&P 500 market index (SPY) down 19.7% year-to-date, 2022 has been a dismal year for the stock market. By comparison, the 3% yearly gain observed in the publicly-traded Manchester United (MANU) looks stellar. What’s even more impressive is that the English Premier League club’s stock has risen 35% over the past three months.

This hot performance was at least partly fueled by a rumor that Elon Musk is considering investing in the world famous soccer team.

Another Elon Tweet of Note

Usually it’s tough to determine how rumors like this get started. But, when Elon Musk is involved, it’s actually pretty straightforward. In this case, the Tesla (TSLA) CEO himself tweeted, “Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome.” Since Musk has a Twitter (TWTR) following of 106 million people, the tweet was instantly picked up by news outlets, and investors started loading up on Manchester United’s stock.

The SpaceX founder later clarified that this was a joke. However, since Musk’s pursuit of Twitter played out similarly, many took the message seriously. If Elon doesn’t end up buying the team, chemical billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has also expressed interest.

Manchester United is currently owned by the Glazer family, who also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So, is there any way to get in on the action if Musk decides to invest?

Becoming an Owner

Owning a professional sports franchise is a lofty pursuit that’s typically reserved for billionaires. However, there are a few major teams that are publicly traded. In addition to Manchester United, Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE) trades on the NYSE. This is the organization that owns the New York Knicks and Rangers.

On top of that, you can invest in the Atlanta Braves (BATRA) by purchasing a tracking stock of Liberty Media (FWONA), which also owns the Formula 1 racing league. For professional wrestling fans, you can invest in World Wrestling Entertainment via the ticker symbol WWE.

Even if you’re not a billionaire, buying stock in a sports team or league can still be a profitable long-term investment. Outside of the rare expansion team, they aren’t making any more of them.

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James Flippin ABOUT James Flippin James Flippin is the son of a financial advisor who grew up hearing and learning about bond yields, interest rates, the stock market, and the ins and outs of Wall Street. After stints as a licensing and business broker for Marcus and Millichap in New York City, James moved into broadcasting and became a reporter and anchor. He covered crime, politics, finance, and tech at NBC News Radio while working part-time as a producer for SiriusXM. James graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. He's also an accomplished podcaster with over 10-years of experience.

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