Sports Teams and Clubs

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 700 sports teams in the US participate in live sporting events before a paying audience. The industry includes professional and semi-professional teams but does include leagues. Major sources of revenue include admissions fees; broadcast and other media rights; advertising; events produced under contract; and meals, snacks, and beverages. Major sports include baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer.

Dependence on Broadcast/Media Rights

Broadcast and media rights account for almost one-third of revenue.

High Labor Costs

The sports industry is labor-intensive; labor costs account for about 40% of sales.

Industry size & Structure

The average sports team employs about 100 workers and generates about $48 million annually.

    • The sports team industry consists of about 700 firms that employ almost 74,000 workers and generate almost $35 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated; the top 50 companies account for over 60% of industry revenue.
    • The most valuable NFL teams include the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots, and the New York Giants, according to Forbes. The most valuable MLB teams include the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Boston Red Sox.
    • Women’s teams may be part of the same sports leagues as men’s teams (like the WNBA and the NBA) or completely separate entities.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Sports Teams and Clubs Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Mar 13, 2023 - Major League Rugby Seeking $100 Million Investment in US
                                • Major League Rugby (MLR) in the US is reportedly seeking a $100 million investment to expand the sport, according to a Bloomberg report in The 12-team North American league is in its sixth season in the US and looking to grow before hosting the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups in 2031 and 2033. MLR chief commercial officer Harry Hardy said on Front Office Sports Today that the event’s arrival is “a huge indicator for the potential of the sport in this country, and how the global rugby community sees North America as the next big destination for the sport.” The league recently extended its television deal with Fox. Fox will air matches every weekend during the season on its FS1 and FS2 channels, and the conference finals and the championship match will air on the main Fox network.
                                • Sportsbook revenue grew by 75% in the US in 2022 over 2021, reaching $7.5 billion, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA) in SportsPro. The AGA's Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker found that legal sportsbooks managed $93.2 billion in bets in 2022, a 63% year-over-year gain. Several states recently expanded their sports betting, which fueled the industry's growth. Kansas operationalized retail and mobile sports wagering, and several other states launched mobile sports betting (Louisiana, Maryland, and New York).
                                • According to, about half of National Football League (NFL) teams are considering significant renovations or full-scale replacements for their current stadium. Two teams, the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans, are expecting to open new facilities in 2026. The Buffalo Bills have planned a $1.4 billion open-air stadium, while the Titans are building a $2.1 billion domed venue. Two new stadiums have debuted in the past five years: SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Teams considering new stadiums or performing upgrades include the Baltimore Ravens, the Chicago Bears, the Cleveland Browns, the Denver Broncos, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New England Patriots, and the Washington Commanders.
                                • Sponsorship revenue for the National Football League climbed to a record $2.7 billion for the 2022-2023 season, according to SponsorUnited data reported in SportsPro Media. The NFL’s 32 teams secured a combined $2 billion from sponsor deals, compared to $1.8 billion in 2021, while the league earned $650 million. Teams scoring the most deals were the Jacksonville Jaguars (170), Dallas Cowboys (140), Buffalo Bills (135), Indianapolis Colts (125), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (more than 120). The NFL had the most deals with the alcohol, tech, media, food products, and auto industries, while opportunities are emerging with the finance, hotel, and restaurant industries. The league closed another significant deal in September 2022 when Apple Music bought the Super Bowl Halftime Show rights. According to SponsorUnited CEO Bob Lynch, “The NFL continues to impress with not only the amount of sponsorship revenue, but the diversification of industries leveraging those partnerships.”
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