The last time the Green Bay Packers’ organization made team stock available in 2012, football fans gobbled up 263,000 shares at $250 apiece faster than you could say Wisconsin cheddar-eating “Cheeseheads.”
Known for wearing cheese sliced-shaped hats, Cheeseheads raised some $65.75 million for the team that year. Shares of the non-stock stock offered holders no benefits from earnings, paid no dividends, and couldn’t be traded. The stock didn’t even give buyers any special privileges for snagging playoff tickets or drinking free refreshments. Relegated to collectors’ items at best, this exercise by the Green Bay Packers clearly demonstrated fanaticism at its craziest.
So, being a long-time fan of the Buffalo Bills (no wide right jokes, please), I always wondered how to legitimately invest in the NFL. Just to be clear, I’m not referring to betting in office football pools, coin flips in Las Vegas or Fantasy Football.
Think about it. The NFL is an $8.8 billion industry, bigger than the NBA, NHL and MLB. The majority of revenue comes from television advertising, any gadget or piece of clothing with a team or NFL logo on it, and ticket sales and stadium concessions. The league makes money whether we watch the games on our 72-inch screens, or tailgate in the parking lot before consuming mass amounts of in-stadium hot dogs and “refreshments.”
A good way to invest in the NFL is to invest in the investors of the NFL, the sponsors that have a whole lot of money riding on it. Here are three of the best bets: