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The NFL's National Anthem Policy, Plus Everything Investors Need to Know About Fanatics

Benjamin Rains
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Welcome to the latest episode of the Full-Court Finance podcast from Zacks Investment Research. On this week’s episode, Ben Rains discusses the NFL’s new national anthem policy and breaks down everything investors and sports fans need to know about e-commerce power Fanatics after the company’s new NFL and Nike NKE deal.  

The NFL’s ratings have declined across NBC CMCSA, CBS CBS, Fox FOX, and ESPN DIS over the last two seasons. But while many have pointed to the growing popularity of streaming services, such as Netflix NFLX and new NFL partner Amazon AMZN, along with cord-cutting as major reasons for the league’s poor ratings, others have blamed the controversy surrounding the national anthem. This prompted the NFL’s owners and Roger Goodell to adopt a new policy, starting this upcoming season.

“This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem,” the NFL wrote in an official statement. “Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.”

This move is sure to become a point of controversy in the coming months, and will likely linger throughout the entire 2018/19 season—which is the last thing the NFL really wants.

Transitioning to a non-political NFL update, the league recently struck a new 10-year licensing deal with Fanatics. The multibillion-dollar e-commerce powerhouse will soon manufacture and distribute all non-player NFL gear for adults.

Nike’s logo will still appear on all official NFL gear and the sportswear giant will also outfit all of the players. But the new deal is part of growing trend. The NFL, like many others, wants a more streamlined and insanely fast e-commerce business. This is where Fanatics and CEO Michael Rubin’s—who sold his last company to eBay EBAY for $2.4 billion in 2011—end-to-end e-commerce strategy comes into play.

Fanatics has made similar deals with Under Armour UAA and MLB. Meanwhile, the company has amassed some of the biggest names in sports from Manchester United MANU to the NBA and NHL, which is all part of Fanatics’ goal to take on the likes of Amazon and Alibaba BABA in a unique way.

As a reminder, if you feel that we missed something, or if you have any topic suggestions, shoot us an email at podcast@zacks.com. Make sure to check out all of our other audio content at zacks.com/podcasts, and remember to subscribe and leave us a rating on Apple Podcasts.

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CBS Corporation (CBS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Walt Disney Company (DIS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
eBay Inc. (EBAY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Manchester United Ltd. (MANU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
NIKE, Inc. (NKE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Under Armour, Inc. (UAA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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