Investing in sports: “Are you ready for some football?”

The sports industry is a powerful medium in advertising and sponsorship. The more proficient a sports team is envisaged, in terms of stature, success and fan base, the higher the attraction for a company or organization to appear connected with that team.

US football is a front-runner in the American sports industry and conjures a huge audience in the path to Superbowl glory. The Epoch Times Local reported in their June 17-23 2005 issue that ”Industry sources have said NBC, a unit of General Electric Co., has agreed to pay $600 million a year for 16 regular-season Sunday night NFL games and the annual Thursday season opener. The six-year NBC package also includes two playoff games and three prime-time preseason games each year, as well as the 2009 and 2012 Super Bowl championship contests. By comparison, ESPN is said to be paying the NFL $1.1 billion a year over eight years to take over the “Monday Night Football” package.”

This clearly emphasizes the importance and net worth of American Football, and the potential capacity for financial growth and development for a corporation, and its subsequent performance in the stock market, if it can be identified as an affiliate with a successful team or sport, irrespective of the mainstream nature of the business.

The NFL has thirty-two teams, each with their own official corporate sponsors. To be associated with an individual football team is more prolific than sponsoring a league, as fans identify with their personal preferences.

If you support American Football and you are keen to invest in the stock market, combine both and invest in the NFL. Personal speculation is your own investment in your team.

It must be clearly accepted that investing in stocks and shares can result in both an increase and decrease in value, according to current trends within the marketplace and the state of the economy.

Any investment can yield a dividend and an increase in net worth, but you can also experience a decrease in the overall value of your investment.

Three leading corporate sponsors within the NFL that are continuing to record promising results for investors are General Electric (GE), Anheuser-Busch (BUD) and Verizon Communications (VZ) – Stock ticker symbol in parenthesis, for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

General Electric is a multinational conglomerate which is experiencing a continued growth in earnings, and believes in investing in the future. They operate in growing markets and report a total return of $25.4 billion to shareholders, via stock buyback and dividend payments. For 32 consecutive years the company has increased the dividend payout per share. ( 2008)

Anheuser-Busch is America’s leading brewery with over 100 brands, including Budweiser beer and Michelob lager. For five years the company has been ranked No1 according to Fortune Magazines list of US beverage companies. Share prices have risen steadily in the last ten years, from $24.375 (09.02.98) to the current price of $68.030 (09.02.08), and a dividend increase of 12.1 percent was recently announced. ( 2008)

Verizon Communications provides broadband, television and telecommunication services. In July 2008, the company reported that they had experienced an earnings growth into double figures, its key areas witnessed sales gains, and they have a strong operating cash flow. Current share prices are $35.70 (09.03.08), and the 52 week range has seen shares prices fluctuate between $33.15 – $46.24. ( 2008)