Liberty Media is Capitalizing on the 2021 World Series Champions Atlanta Braves – The Average Joe
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    Liberty Media is Capitalizing on the 2021 World Series Champions Atlanta Braves


    August 8, 2023

    The Atlanta Braves is one of the hottest baseball teams — having won four World Series titles (1914, 1957, 1995 and 2021). And last month, they became the first Major League Baseball (MLB) team to trade publicly in 25 years.

    Liberty Media — which also owns Formula One — spun off the Atlanta Braves and The Battery Atlanta (real estate properties around the stadium) into its own separately traded company, Atlanta Braves Holdings.

    • Technically, the Braves were already trading as a tracking stock — which typically gives no voting rights — and instead monitors the business’ performance.
    • Now “it’s a unique novelty where if you’re a fan of this team, you can also become an owner of the team and own stock” — Braves’ Chairman and President Derek Schiller (AP).

    The stock is up nearly 37% this year — off the back of rising sponsorship revenue, renewed TV deals and skyrocketing sports team values. And despite long-term trends of declining attendance and viewership, the MLB brought in a record ~$10.8B in league revenue in 2022.

    Liberty Media wants a walk-off ending

    After their 2021 World Series title, which sent ticket sales and sponsorship revenue up — majority owner Liberty Media could be getting ready for a sale.

    • Last year, Liberty Media’s CEO commented on the spin-off — “If somewhere down the road the team is to ever be sold, we can avoid corporate-level tax.”
    • “If he gets a big bid on the Braves, he’s going to sell it… And he’s going to sell it for a lot more than $39 per share… This is non-emotional, it’s cold-blooded capitalism.” — Boyar Value Group’s principal (Sportico).

    In 2020, the New York Mets were sold for $2.4B — the highest ever for a sports franchise in North America. That’s 3x the value the team was estimated to be worth just six years earlier.

    But NFL still reigns supreme: Per a US Morning Consult survey, 54% chose MLB as their favorite sport — the second-highest behind the NFL’s 69%. But the consumer interest in MLB couldn’t be more uncertain — with only 35% of Gen Zs calling themselves fans.

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