Football Fever: Why Invest in the Beautiful Game?
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Football Fever: Investing in the Beautiful Game

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Football Fever Investing Infographic

Football Fever: Investing in the Beautiful Game

The very mention of football conjures up images of cheering fans from all corners of the world.

The global appeal of the game is undeniable, and it’s the strong support of fans that has propelled its growth into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Today’s infographic from Swissquote tracks how the sport has reached far and wide—even onto the stock exchange.

The Timeline of the Manchester United IPO

Manchester United is the largest publicly-traded football club in the world. The journey of its initial public offering (IPO) can be traced back almost 30 years.

  • 1991: Man United floats on the London Stock Exchange (LSE)
    It aims to raise £10 million, but falls short and finally raises £6.7 million.
  • 2003-2005: Malcolm Glazer acquires ownership of Man United
    This raises the club’s market capitalization to £790 million, and it delists from the LSE.
  • 2012: Man United lists on the New York Stock Exchange
    It aims to raise £62.8 million in this IPO, but surpasses this with a final raised value of £146.3 million. Interestingly, George Soros was the biggest investor in this deal, buying a nearly 2% stake in the club.

What makes a football team like Manchester United so attractive in the eyes of investors?

Over decades, a flourishing fan base from viewers to consumers has been the force behind the football industry’s success as a whole.

The Big Business of Football

FIFA, the international governing body of football, organizes and promotes all major tournaments. Its total revenue between 2015-2018 can be broken down into a few main components:

Revenue SourceAmount% of total
Broadcasting rights€2,800 million48%
Marketing rights€1,500 million27%
Accommodation and ticket sales€600 million11%
Licensing rights€500 million9%
Other revenue€300 million5%
Total: €5,800 million

In fact, 83% of this total revenue came from the 2018 Russia World Cup alone. This was viewed by approximately 3.6 billion people—nearly half the world’s population.

The World Cup’s revenue even rivals the combined strength of the top five European clubs. How do the five major clubs make their money?

ClubMatchdayBroadcastCommercial/ Sponsorships2019 Revenue
FC Barcelona€159M€298M€384M€841M
Real Madrid€145M€258M€355M€757M
Man Utd€121M€274M€317M€712M
Bayern Munich€92M€211M€357M€660M
Paris Saint-German€116M€157M€363M€636M
Total€633M€1.2B€1.8B€3.6B

As viewership climbs, broadcasting rights furiously grow too—presenting numerous investment opportunities in sponsorship on the pitch and on the screen.

Cashing in on Clubs

Manchester United (NYSE:MANU) set a new precedent for publicly-traded football clubs—with a market cap worth near €1.8 billion today.

Following Man United’s example, other major clubs have since gone public across Europe. As well, Asia presents an emerging opportunity as the sport’s regional popularity expands.

ClubStock TickerMkt Cap (Jul 31, 2020)
🇮🇹 Juventus FC S.p.AJUVE:IM€1.19B
🇩🇪 Borussia DortmundBVB:GR€511M
🇮🇹 AS RomaASR:IM€320M
🇬🇧 Celtic F.C.CCP:LN€108M (£97M)
🇨🇳 Guangzhou Evergrande TaobaoNEEQ:834338N/A
🇮🇩 Bali UnitedIDX:BOLA€57M (Rp894B)

China’s most valuable football club—backed in part by e-commerce giant Alibaba—closely matches the valuation of Manchester United.

In Southeast Asia, Bali United was the first team to go public in June 2019. Shares jumped 69% higher than the initial listing price upon its IPO. This move is already propelling more planned IPOs for more football teams in the region, such as Persija Jakarta—the 2018 Liga 1 champion—and Thailand’s Buriram United.

The Future of Football

Football has the power to stir passions and unite people—and it’s reinventing itself constantly.

The 2019 Women’s World Cup was the most watched in tournament history, with over 1.12 billion tuning in. FIFA plans to invest almost €454 million more into the women’s game between 2019-2022, and grow the number of female players to 600 million by 2026.

Additionally, the annual esports tournament eWorld Cup is taking place in Thailand in 2020—tapping into the esports boom in Asia, which hosts 57% of esports enthusiasts.

Any football fan will tell you that the beautiful game is more than just a sport. And for investors, there are a variety of ways to gain exposure to this market—meaning fans can be both personally and financially invested as it continues to grow.

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Technology

iPhone Now Makes Up the Majority of U.S. Smartphones

Apple’s flagship device has captured a modest 16% of the global market, and Android dominates globally. Why do so many Americans keep buying iPhones?

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iPhone Now Makes Up the Majority of U.S. Smartphones

One of the most iconic tech moments of the 21st century is Steve Jobs, in his signature black turtleneck, holding up a small device: the iPhone. Since that introduction at the 2007 Macworld conference in San Francisco, iPhone has gone on to become a global phenomenon, with over 1.2 billion units now sold around the world.

Today, the smartphone market is a fiercely competitive space.

On a global scale, iPhone has carved out a respectable 16% of the smartphone market. In the U.S., however, the iPhone has managed to win the hearts and minds of more consumers. New data from Counterpoint Research via FT notes that iPhones now make up 50% of the overall installed user base* in the United States.

With a plethora of smartphone brands available to American consumers—and many at lower price points—what is it that makes this brand so popular?

ℹ️ “Installed user base” is a particularly interesting statistic because it doesn’t just track devices that are sold over a given period, it looks at all the devices that are still in use.

 

iPhone: The Apple of America’s Eye

Experts point to a number of reasons why Apple’s flagship device outperforms in the U.S. compared to other markets.

  • Apple has the highest brand loyalty of any major smartphone maker. 9 in 10 U.S. iPhone users plan to purchase an iPhone as their next device.
  • iPhones appear to depreciate at a slower rate than other devices
  • Broadly speaking, consumers in the U.S. have less price sensitivity than consumers in many other countries.
  • Apple has been vocal in their messaging about protecting user privacy and data, and that message appears to be resonating with consumers.

This last point is worth digging into in more detail.

Winning the Privacy War

Personal data protection and cybersecurity have become mainstream concerns in recent years, and Apple has made security a priority.

Of course, security breaches can and do occur, regardless of what device is being used. That said, a recent survey by Beyond Identity indicates that iPhone users were less likely to be victims of security breaches, and were more likely to recover data in the event of a breach.

Infographic showing survey data on security breaches and severity

The survey also points out that iPhone users were less likely to have sensitive data, such as images and videos, credit card information, passwords, and personal data compromised when breaches occurred.

These findings aside, Apple has also been bullish on branding its devices as safe and secure. The “Privacy. That’s iPhone.” campaign launched in 2019, and most recently, Apple has put the data broker industry in its crosshairs through a new series of ad spots.

Simply put: whether or not iPhone is more secure than other devices, Apple has used its marketing muscle to sway public opinion at a time when Americans are focused on privacy. And based on these latest installed user base numbers, that strategy appears to be paying off.

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Misc

The Most Searched Consumer Brands in 2022

From Netflix to IKEA, this map of the world highlights the most searched for consumer brands around the world.

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The Most Searched Consumer Brands in 2022

View the high resolution of this infographic by clicking here.

In today’s fast-paced world, a strong brand is a powerful asset that helps a business stand out in a sea of competition.

What are some of the most popular brands around the world? One way to gauge this is by looking at Google searches to see what consumers are searching for online (and therefore, what brands they’re paying the most attention to).

This graphic by BusinessFinancing.co.uk uses data from Google Keyword Planner to show the world’s most searched consumer brands in the twelve months leading up to March 2022.

Methodology

To source this wide of a dataset, the team at BusinessFinancing.co.uk first compiled a list of well-known brands, using a number of reputable sources including Forbes, the Financial Times, BrandDirectory, and more.

From there, the team created a shortlist of popular consumer brands. This year, they focused on businesses that sell products and services, so some of the big tech companies like Google and Meta were excluded from the 2022 ranking.

Next, the team used Google Ads API to extract search volume data for the shortlisted brands. They looked at a couple of things:

  • The monthly average of searches over the last 12 months for the brand name alone (e.g. “Nike”)
  • Brand name with the corresponding sector added to the keyword (“Nike clothing”), which helped offset the skew in search volume for generic terms like “Apple” or “Amazon”

They did this for every country in the world with data available. Here’s what they found.

The Top 5 Most Searched Brands

While Netflix is the most frequently searched brand in the highest number of countries (92), Amazon takes the top spot when it comes to total search volume.

Here’s a look at the top five most search brands by average global monthly searches:

BrandAverage global monthly searches (March 2022)# Countries Most-Searched In
Amazon335,400,00042
Netflix140,200,00092
eBay80,600,0006
Walmart76,100,0002
IKEA55,300,00014

But a brand’s search popularity doesn’t necessarily reflect that the business is thriving. For instance, in April 2022, Netflix announced it had lost around 200,000 subscribers throughout Q1.

The week of the announcement, Netflix’s stock price dipped below $200—the lowest it had been since 2017.

Smartphones

Apple and its iPhone take the top spot when it comes to smartphone searches, which may be unsurprisingly considering the top five best-selling smartphones in 2021 were all iPhones.

Most Searched Smartphones 2022
View the high resolution of this infographic by clicking here.

It’s worth noting that the top five best-selling smartphones only capture a fraction of the overall smartphone market, and while iPhones are undeniably popular, they only make up 16.7% of worldwide smartphone sales.

Gaming

Epic Games, the creator and platform of Fortnite, maintains its status as the most searched-for gaming brand worldwide, with an average of 14.9 million global monthly searches.

Most Searched Gaming Brands 2022
View the high resolution of this infographic by clicking here.

No other gaming company came close to Epic Game’s search volume. For instance, Nintendo, which came in second place, only averaged 3.2 million searches a month.

However, Nintendo still managed to generate more than $16 billion in revenue throughout 2021, triple the gross revenue that Epic Games made the same year.

Fast Food

KFC was the most searched fast-food company in more than 83 countries, making it the most popular worldwide.

most popular brands by search volume fast food
View the high resolution of this infographic by clicking here.

However, it’s worth noting that, while McDonald’s ranked first in fewer countries, it had a higher global monthly search average than its fried chicken competitor.

In 2021, KFC generated approximately $2.79 billion in global revenue, while McDonald’s brought in $23.2 billion.

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