Mar 12, 2021 - Sports

The rise of sports fandom investing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For nearly a century, investing was driven exclusively by ticker symbols. Now, there's more room for passion-aligned investing — and sports is at the forefront of that movement.

The state of play: Sports fans have always followed the players and teams they love. Now, there are more ways than ever to actually invest in them.

  • Whether it's through sports betting, fantasy sports, or buying and selling trading cards and memorabilia, it's never been easier to bet on an athlete or team's future success.
  • With so much access to information, fans and collectors can form hypotheses and leverage their expertise by placing a "wager" on what they believe will happen.

For example...

  • Short-term: If you think Ja Morant, Jonas Valančiūnas and the Grizzlies will beat the Nuggets tonight, how do you invest in them? By placing a bet on the game.
  • Medium-term: If you think Valančiūnas will have a huge second half of the season, how do you invest in him? By picking him up off the waiver wire in your NBA fantasy league.
  • Long-term: If you think Morant is going to be a future Hall of Famer, how do you invest in him? By buying his rookie card (or fractional shares of it).

What they're saying: "Loving the things you invest your time and money into are so much more important now, and beloved athletes unlock that passion," says Rob Petrozzo, co-founder of Rally, a platform for buying and selling equity shares in collectibles.

  • "The old adage that '10–20% of your portfolio should include alternatives' has always meant real estate, precious metals and art."
  • "As assets like trading cards continue to dominate the conversation, I can envision 'sports' becoming a part of a lot of portfolios as opposed to just being part of an individual's collection or fond memories."

Consider this ... One Rally user I spoke with shared that he has a folder on his phone titled "Investing/Betting." Inside of that folder:

  • Robinhood (stocks)
  • Coinbase (crypto)
  • DraftKings (sports betting)
  • Rally (collectibles)

Go deeper: Read the full Axios Sports special report on the rise of sports fandom investing

Go deeper