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 950 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 90 workers and generates about $34 million annually.

    • The sports team industry consists of about 950 firms that employ about 83,000 workers and generate almost $33 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, the Los Angeles Rams, 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

                                Jan 4, 2024 - Golden State Warriors Ranked as Most Valuable Franchise
                                • The value of the Golden State Warriors increased 10% to reach over $8 billion in 2023, making it the most valuable franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA), according to a Sportico study in SportsProMedia.com. The New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics, and the Chicago Bulls were other top-valued clubs in the league. In addition, the Warriors generated $764 million in revenue last season, nearly 40% higher than the next highest revenue-generating team, the Los Angeles Lakers. The collective value of every NBA team is reported to be $120 billion, and the average revenue per team was $362 million. The average value per club was $4 billion in 2023, an increase of 33% compared to last year.
                                • A new six-team women's pro hockey league debuted in January 2024 with a series of sold-out games, according to FrontOfficeSports.com. The Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) was created in 2023 through a merger of the former Premier Hockey Federation and the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association. The National Hockey League (NHL) is offering the league logistical and operational support but not financial support. The PWHL already has media deals with NESN, MSG Networks, and Bally Sports North in the US and media partners in Canada. The league's primary backer is Mark Walter, the lead owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and an investor in other sports teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers. The PWHL teams are in Boston, Minnesota, New York, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto.
                                • Improving consumer confidence and higher demand for in-person activities are expected to support growth in the US sports teams and clubs industry, which is projected to increase at about a 6% CAGR from 2022 to 2027, according to a recent Inforum forecast. This rate is faster than the projected growth of the overall economy. The forecast follows several years of volatile activity during the pandemic, growth down 42.3% in 2020, up 60.8% in 2021, and up 15.8% in 2022.
                                • Consumer confidence levels rose in December 2023 for the second month in a row, following three consecutive months of declines, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index increased to 110.7 in December 2023 from 101 in November 2023. According to Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board, “December’s write-in responses revealed the top issue affecting consumers remains rising prices in general, while politics, interest rates, and global conflicts all saw downticks as top concerns.” Peterson added that the gains in consumer confidence were largest in householders aged 35-54 and households with income levels of $125,000 and above. Plans to purchase homes, autos, and large appliances rose on a month-to-month basis as interest rates moderated.
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