- Baseball is among the most important sports in the United States and is a mainstay for many businesses.
- The MLB is one of the markets favored by large investment firms, which is why some of the teams enjoy large revenues.
- This article reviews the most valuable clubs for the 2023 “big top” season.
The 2023 MLB season starts this Thursday with intense activity of the teams that play the best baseball around the world. Like soccer, baseball is a sport that does not stop at any time of the year and its popularity is on the rise. Traditional soccer-playing countries such as Spain, Italy and the Netherlands already have a strong capacity for baseball.
In countries such as Argentina, a professional league was inaugurated a few years ago, and the Caribbean Club Series is becoming increasingly popular. In other words, the exclusivity of the sport in a handful of countries seems to be gradually becoming a thing of the past, and the recent World Baseball Classic left the impression of a globalized sport. Likewise, the passion of the fans is becoming contagious for the expansion of this complicated sport.
All of this means that the sport of bat and ball is growing in popularity and reach. Along with this growth also comes business opportunities for large companies. For investors in other latitudes, the Major League presents itself as a mirror to copy when it comes to investment management and return successes. If there is one thing that is profitable for large U.S. investment companies, it is baseball.
The rise of baseball and the 2023 season
With the voice of “Play Ball” for the 2023 MLB season, investors in other latitudes are in expectation of the results. Despite macroeconomic conditions and financial turbulence, that league’s franchises appear financially sound. In that sense, the sports market presents itself as a safe form of investment in turbulent times.
It is worth mentioning that these clubs are not publicly traded, but are privately raised. But there are numerous ways to profit from the investments. In any case, as mentioned above, baseball continues to thrive as other sports struggle with dire economic conditions.
The World Baseball Classic and the Caribbean Series had their best editions ever in 2023. The first of these events (where national teams compete) was held in Asia and the United States simultaneously and featured major league superstars. The Caribbean Series, on the other hand, is a short-lived tournament in which the champion clubs of each Caribbean league compete against each other. The atmosphere at both events was intense and the advertising revenues are second only to the major leagues.
In any case, it all became a prelude to this 2023 season in which the Houston Astros arrive as the defending champions. But this paper is not about the top teams in terms of sports favoritism, but in terms of revenue.
In that regard, the Astros are not counted among the top five. The same goes for their capitalization, the club is valued at $2.25 billion. With this, the defending champion does not enter the top 10 of the most valuable teams in the big top.
The 5 most valuable MLB players
Despite the San Diego Padres’ efforts to knock the Los Angeles Dodgers off the National League West division pedestal, the result has been unsuccessful. Last year, the second-ranked club won 111 of 162 regular-season games. Such strength is based on the team’s financial strength.
The Dodgers top the list of the top five highest grossing franchises entering this season with $565 million. In terms of capitalization, they rank second ($4.8 billion) behind only the New York Yankees ($7.1 billion). The New York team finished second in revenue last season with $485 million.
In terms of valuation, the Boston Red Sox rank third, not far behind the Dodgers at $4.5 billion. Prior to the start of this season, their revenues totaled $479 million which left them third on this list as well.
Fourth place in capitalization goes to the Chicago Cubs with $4.1 billion. For this season, the franchise starts with a revenue prospect of $425 million to place fifth in this count. The Atlanta Braves rank fourth with $443 million, although in valuation they are not in the top five, but in eighth place with $2.6 billion.
The fifth place in valuation goes to the San Francisco Giants, with $3.7 billion. Prior to the start of this MLB season, this team generated revenues of $384 million and ranked eighth in that category.
The Houston Astros, reigning champions and frequent World Series participants in recent years, are below these oligarch clubs. For example, they rank 11th in valuation and 6th in revenue prior to the start of the season as defending champions. All valuation data for these teams is taken from Forbes and annual revenues from Totalsportal.com.
Biggest spending budgets
According to the statistics portal, Spotrac, the New York Mets are the team with the highest operating budget spending. The team’s payroll takes $335.9 million of its $305 million annual revenue. The shortfall is covered by sponsorship, private collection and official merchandise sales.
Second on this list is the New York Yankees with $268 million, followed by the San Diego Padres with $237 million. The Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers close this list with $231.7 million and $217.6 million, respectively. Again, Houston is far behind on this list and barely enters the top 10 with $180.6 million. For them, this is enough of an investment to contend for the championship year after year.
In terms of the teams with the highest merchandise sales, the Yankees comfortably lead the table. The team’s merchandise dominates the position in 23 states, and with good reason. In 2022, Aaron Judge surpassed the legendary Roger Maris in home runs in American League history, sparking a fever over this figure.
Close behind on the list are the Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays. As can be seen, the MLB has become an ideal place to generate juicy returns on investment.
how to make a profit from MLB?
Above it was remarked that in the Major League it is not possible to invest in the same way as in the stock market companies. Franchises are not listed on the stock market; they are privately held. However, this does not prevent investors from taking advantage of the great opportunities in the sport. Here are some ways to invest in major baseball:
- Betting: this is the simplest form of investment and the riskiest, as it depends on uncertain outcomes. Just as in soccer, the odds in baseball have narrowed considerably. Hence, there is no such thing as a huge favoritism as in the past. To invest in betting, all you have to do is open an account with an official broker that complies with all legal trading standards.
- Merchandise trading: The baseball fan base in the United States is overwhelming. Album cards are often big business, as they are in hungry demand. The same goes for special edition or significant seasonal caps or uniforms. Collectors often pay large sums for products that are considered classics. Buying and treasuring franchise merchandise can be an investment that pays off in the medium to long term.
- Collectibles: Major league clubs are also part of the NFT or blockchain collectibles craze. Like collectibles, digital merchandise tends to appreciate over time. Fans can also immortalize their own moments to trade in the future. For example, a ball hit by Jose Altuve in the recent World Series can be digitally minted with his autograph and sold for a good amount to a fan.
- Advertising: There are also MLB investments at a large level. If the investor has enough capital, he can sign an advertising contract with one of the franchises or individual stars and grow his business through the sports image. As can be seen, in spite of not being listed on the stock exchange, the native sport of the United States offers various forms of investment.
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