The Stock Market of Sports

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Let’s engage in a thought experiment. Go with me if you will, imagine that the various leagues are publicly traded stocks and you can invest on them. They act as stocks and respond to positive information and negative information accordingly. For example, after Malace in the Palace the NBA’s stock took a big hit. Here’s how the major sports would have moved during 2012. (2 arrows indicate significant change and 1 indicates slight change)

NFL (⇊)- The NFL lost a lot of value this year. Despite the fact that they are still the major sport in America, this year was marred by controversy and incompetence. Concussion talk is at an all-time high, the replacement ref controversy and the botched Bounty Gate scandal made the NFL look like a joke. If it was not for Gary Bettman, Roger Goddell would be the worst commissioner in all of sports.

NBA (⇈)- The sport is at it’s healthiest since Jordan. Marketable stars and playing in big markets and the best online presense in all of sports, drove much of the NBA’s growth in 2012. It looks as though there seems to be potential for the league to pass the struggling NFL. It seems as though basketball is now marketed towards young, hip fans whereas the NFL is marketed to old people who can’t use the internet and enjoy Skip “Water Pistol Pete” Bayless.

NHL (↑,⇊) The NHL had their best season in over a decade last year. That being said, the league office is beyond incompetent and the owners are incredibly greedy. Hockey’s too depressing, next sport.

MLS (↑)- The MLS is making gradual increases and we could see Americans finally accepting soccer. The MLS has been helped by being smart with their league development, placing teams in smaller cities that have developed rabid fan bases (Portland, Kansas City.) The leagues growth will hinge on attracting and developing young US talent instead of relying on aging stars from across the sea.

MLB (↑)- Baseball is an old man’s game not set to succeed in the ADD generation. Yet, after the crop of young stars entering the league and making immediate impacts, the league enjoyed a nice increase this year. The Dodgers were sold for 2 Billion (yes Billion $’s), that pretty much sums up where baseball is.

Golf (↓)- Golf enjoyed a decent year but had a modest decrease overall. We can put a fork in aging stars like Tiger and Phil and young golfers looking promising (Rory McIlroy, Keagan Bradley) but they haven’t shown the consistency to get too excited about the tour.

Boxing (↓)- Boxing is in a troublesome place. The Klitscko brothers have the heavyweight division in a perpetual traffic jam and the two other biggest stars (Pacquiao and Mayweather) are on the decline of their careers. The Pacquiao-Marquez fight was one of the all-time greats but reminded casual boxing fans of the harsh brutality of the sport.

UFC (↑)- The UFC story is the same as it’s been for the past couple of years: develop deep talent across all weight classes, continue to outshine boxing, and rake in the dough.

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