The “minor league” of mixed martial arts, Alliance MMA , held its initial public offering on Thursday, giving sports enthusiasts another opportunity to invest in their fandom. If you’ve ever dreamt of owning a sports league or team, this might be your chance.
Alliance is a small fight promotion that seeks to unify regional MMA brands that don’t have the national brand-recognition of the sport’s biggest names, UFC and Bellator. The company’s strategy is not to compete with these MMA giants; instead, Alliance will focus on launching the careers of up-and-coming fighters and giving local guys an opportunity to perform.
The newly-public promotion becomes the first MMA stock on the market, and the deal comes at a time of significant consolidation within the business. In July, sports and entertainment agency WME-IMG purchased UFC for $4 billion. The UFC is by far the biggest brand in the sport and its roster includes stars like Connor McGregor and Ronda Rousey.
While Alliance’s debut may be the first chance for fight fans to invest in MMA, it’s not the only way for investors to become a partial owner of a sports franchise.
Soccer fans have the opportunity to buy shares of Manchester United (MANU - Snapshot Report) , one of the world’s most popular clubs. While this stock may be a “cool” buy for the fans, the club’s disappointing performance last season has threatened its revenue stream as the club misses out on big paydays from the UEFA Champions League. MANU is currently a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
There’s also a few opportunities to buy stock in a team “indirectly.” Back in April, Liberty Media (LMCA - Analyst Report) spun off its assets related to the Atlanta Braves into a separately-traded company, Liberty Braves Group . This company owns the team, its stadium, and related real estate projects (also read: Own an MLB Team).
Fans can also grab a stake in the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, as well as the WNBA’s New York Liberty, the NBA developmental league’s Westchester Knicks, and minor league hockey’s Hartford Wolf Pack through the Madison Square Garden Company (MSG - Snapshot Report) .
MSG is separated into three entities: MSG Sports, MSG Media, and MSG Entertainment. MSG Sports handles the operation of the company’s sports franchises, while MSG Media and MSG Entertainment handle its content and live productions.
Other than that, a few European soccer teams trade on foreign markets, and any billionaires that might be reading this could always shoot for an expansion team!
For more coverage on IPOs, check out the Zacks Friday Finish Line team’s exclusive interview with Kathleen Smith, co-founder of IPO-based research firm Renaissances Capital:
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