Welcome to the latest episode of the Full-Court Finance podcast from Zacks Investment Research where Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into Nike’s NKE new deal with Major League Baseball. The episode also breaks down some news from Google’s (GOOGL - Free Report) YouTube TV and Hulu as the streaming TV war heats up.
Nike late last week announced a 10-year deal with MLB that will see the sportswear giant become the official uniform and footwear supplier of the league starting in 2020. The deal makes Nike the brand behind the NFL, NBA, and MLB, which are the three most popular professional sports leagues in North America.
Rumors had floated for some time now that Nike would take over this 10-year deal from Under Armour UAA, which originally inked almost the exact same deal with MLB in 2016. Under Armour backed out based on various changes to their business strategy as it struggles to adapt to the athleisure driven sportswear climate, driven by the likes of Lululemon (LULU - Free Report) , Gap (GPS - Free Report) , Nike, and others.
Nike’s new deal with MLB will also see e-commerce sports apparel power Fanatics supply the gear for fans, which is what the firm will soon do for the NFL as well. Fanatics is certainly a company to keep an eye on since its owner Michael Rubin has seemed to carve out a niche in an e-commerce market dominated by Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , eBay (EBAY - Free Report) , and Alibaba (BABA - Free Report) . Meanwhile, investors should note that Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) has grown more bullish on Nike and less positive on rival Adidas ADDYY.
Moving on, Google's YouTube TV said last week that it is expanding nationwide. The $40-a-month service is one of a handful of streaming TV offerings that allows users to truly cut the cord and still watch live TV. One of YouTube TV’s main selling points is the ability to watch live sports from ESPN, Fox, and more. Hulu also announced last week that it is set to lower the price of its basic plan and raise the price of Hulu + Live TV.
These moves will become increasingly important as Disney (DIS - Free Report) , Apple (AAPL - Free Report) , and AT&T (T - Free Report) prepare to launch their own streaming services to compete against giants Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) and Amazon. Investors should pay close attention to the streaming market because it is set to become as crowded as ever. And with more options, firms will have to do all they can to attract and retain users, especially as the likes of Facebook (FB - Free Report) and others try to roll out free streaming offerings.
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