Stock Analysis & Ideas

Game On: These Stocks Could Benefit Big-Time from the NFL Season

Story Highlights

Football is big business in America, and eager Wall Street opportunists shouldn’t be shut out of the game. Thus, as NFL season kicks off, investors can pick or pass from a broad selection of direct and indirect football-friendly stocks.

The wait is finally over. The first week of September is here, and for millions of people, it means that the NFL season has arrived. Thursday night’s opener between the visiting Buffalo Bills and the current champs, the L.A. Rams, should be a nail-biter – and, from a business and investing perspective, a ratings magnet with robust revenue-generating potential. Even if you don’t have billions of dollars to invest directly in sports teams, you can still position yourself for potential profits during football season.

After all, NFL games are must-watch events in American sports – ratings juggernauts that typically deliver billions of dollars to well-positioned businesses from food and beverage consumption, tourism, TV rights, and sports betting sites.

Tackling the Football Trade Directly

Anticipating the inflow of football-fueled revenue, you can play offense with a carefully chosen lineup of sports-friendly stock picks. Probably the most direct exposure to NFL-season mania would be a stake in corporations that own TV channels that air sporting events.

While no TV network gets to air the Super Bowl every year, a certain coterie of corporations maintain an effective oligopoly on high-ratings games. These include Disney (DIS), owner of ESPN and ABC; sports-and-entertainment-friendly FOX (FOX)(FOXA); cable TV giant and NBC owner Comcast (CMCSA); and Paramount Global (PARA), which owns CBS.

Another avenue for direct exposure to America’s football frenzy is through sports-gear companies. Sure, these businesses will spend money to advertise during football season, but they’ll probably get that money back and more as sports enthusiasts across the nation grab their favorite gear and play a high-stakes game of football – or at least watch one on TV. Thus, a small holding in sporting gear and apparel companies Nike (NKE), Adidas (ADDYY), and Under Armour (UA)(UAA) might merit a place in your fashion-forward portfolio.

Tourist Traps and Some Food for Thought

Along with the more obvious and direct NFL season plays, eager investors can also get indirect exposure to football fanaticism. Consider, for example, the travel and tourism businesses that benefit from football games. People come from all over the country to experience firsthand the thrills of an NFL event – and if they have to fly to get there, then airlines like Spirit (SAVE), Southwest (LUV), and JetBlue (JBLU) may be ready for takeoff in the near future.

The sports-tourism profit train doesn’t end with the airlines, of course, as many travelers will use travel-service providers like Booking Holdings (BKNG) and Expedia (EXPE) to plan and fulfill their itineraries. Moreover, when friends and family members can’t accommodate them, sports-event travelers will typically secure temporary lodging with the likes of Hilton (HLT), Marriott (MAR), or another popular hotel chain.

When talking about the massive consumption of food and beverages during NFL gamedays, how about some exposure to the segment giants? We are talking Coca-Cola (KO), PepsiCo (PEP), Domino’s Pizza (DPZ), Yum! Brands (YUM) and Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD).

Sports Betting is Booming during the NFL Season

While they’re away from home, travelers might be tempted to engage in a bout of sports betting – and when they give in to this temptation, DraftKings (DKNG) is undoubtedly glad to help them part with their hard-earned money. DraftKings has a strong iGaming presence through the DraftKings brand as well as Golden Nugget Online Gaming. Other strong contenders with sports-betting and/or traditional-gambling angles include Penn National Gaming (PENN), MGM Resorts (MGM), and Flutter Entertainment (PDYPY), The company behind DraftKings biggest competitor, FanDuel.

From the gridiron heroes to the armchair quarterbacks, it seems like everyone is caught up in NFL madness this season. Indeed, games will be won or lost on the field – but with a selective stake in game-day beneficiaries, you just might score a big win in your football-focused portfolio.


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