Sport Stock Certificates

During my investment research for MSG I found some really nice looking stock certificate of old publicly traded sports team. Pure play publicly traded sports team is a rare thing. It doesn’t happen often and when it does control is rarely given. In Europe there are a few soccer (football for the purists) teams are listed on the stock market. In North America, at the moment there’s Manchester United (MANU) that’s listed on the NYSE. Not exactly a local team but the owners, the Glazer family, are American.

I added some stock certificates of American sports team that use to trade publicly. They are more like novelty investments and gives the stockholder a “fake feeling of ownership”. You will find a stock certificate of the Green Bay Packers, the Boston Celtics, the Florida Panthers, the Cleveland Indians, and Manchester United.

The extract below is taken from my research on The Madison Square Garden Company. For the full report click here.


Reposted from Seeking Alpha
By Brian Langis

I did some research on other publicly traded sports teams and there isn’t much. It’s definitely not a popular sector. Most of publicly traded sports teams are soccer “football for the purists” teams in Europe and do not constitute a good base. I can’t really use them as comparable. In America, publicly traded companies pure plays are rare. The Rangers and the Knicks are part of a bigger company. The Toronto Maples Leafs is a small part of telecommunication giant Rogers and BCE. BCE also owns 18.4% of the Montreal Canadiens and the Atlanta Braves is one of the many assets inside Liberty Media. Usually the primary appeal of these stocks would the fans since little or any control is given. Just like MSG, you are not the “real” owner.

Manchester United

The only pure play I found is Manchester United (MANU). Only a small portion of MANU is publicly available and the company is controlled by the Glazer family. MANU had their IPO in 2012 at a price much lower underwriters expected because the fan base of retail investors didn’t show up. At the moment MANU is trading around $16 a share. As a side note, this wouldn’t have been the first time MANU is publicly traded. The Glazer family bought out the shareholders in 2004.

Milwaukee Braves (Never publicly traded)

The graphic above is a certificate of the Milwaukee Braves, the same team that moved to Atlanta. They were never publicly traded and shares were sold to a few hundred locals. However you can indirectly invest in the Atlanta Braves. Liberty Media Corporation (LCMA); it owns and operates the Atlanta Braves as a part of their media empire.

Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians (CLEV) went public in June 1998 for $15 a share and went private again in 1999. Larry Dolan bought the team for $320 million in 1999 and offered between $22.25 and $22.75 a share. Larry Dolan is the brother of Charles Dolan, Chairman of Cablevision. Larry reportedly said to the Baltimore Sun:

“The owner of the Cleveland Indians is going to be myself. My brother, Charles, is not involved,” Larry Dolan said. “What he does is his business. I did tell him, `Charles, what we need is a pitcher. If you can’t pitch, we don’t need you.’ “

Cleveland Indians financial statement Source: Sports Finance by Gil Fried, Timothy D. DeSchrive, Michael Mondello

Florida Panthers

I must admit that’s one nice stock certificate. The 1996 Florida Panthers (PUCK) went public on the NASDAQ. Florida Panthers Holdings was Wayne Huizenga’s investment company. It’s wasn’t a sport pure play since the holding was filled with real estate and entertainment assets. In 1997 the Panthers made the move to the NYSE with a new symbol: (PAW), since the NYSE limits trading symbols to a maximum of three letters. The stock had ups and downs to eventually change its name to Boca Resorts. Mr. Huizenga sold the Panthers in 2001. You can see from the table below that the Panther’s had terrible cash flow.

Florida Panthers financial statement Source: Sports Finance by Gil Fried, Timothy D. DeSchrive, Michael Mondello

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics (BOS) had a long public run. 40% of the team was offered to the public in 1986 at $18.50 a share. The Celtics were traded publicly until 2002 when the team became privately owned for $360 million.

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers have a different ownership structure. The team is owned by the fans. The Packers sold their first shares for $5 in 1923. It’s not publicly traded. There are significant restrictions on all transfers. Presentably, 364,114 people, representing 5,014,545 shares can lay claim on the franchise. Shares include voting rights but redemption price is minimal and no dividends are paid. The stock cannot appreciate in value.

Other than interesting history, it doesn’t really help with the valuation of MSG. It appears that some of the investments above were novelty investments. Team owners often issue public offerings in order to monetize their holdings without losing team control. However, if MSG was ever going to break up, it might indicate that the Knicks and Rangers might be better off privately. I don’t think a professional sports team should be on the stock market. The team should be owned privately by an owner that wants to win rather than focusing on beating next quarter’s number.

For the full report click here.


2 thoughts on “Sport Stock Certificates

    1. I would love too but it’s more a collectable thing than a real investment. The Green Bay Packer stock has only been offered for sale during defined stock offerings. They are not publicly traded. It costs $250 a share, pays no dividends, benefits from no earnings, isn’t tradeable and has no securities-law protection.

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