U.S. Markets closed

Puma Goes After Nike, Adidas & ESPN Jumps into Sports Betting

Benjamin Rains

Welcome to the latest episode of the Full-Court Finance podcast from Zacks Investment Research where Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into Puma’s partnership with global soccer powerhouse Manchester City, and then takes a look at ESPN’s DIS first big push into the sports betting scene.

German sportswear firm Puma announced what is reported to be a record-breaking deal with Manchester City. Puma will take over one of the world’s biggest clubs from Nike NKE. The deal, which is said to be worth as much as $86 million a season comes not too long after the firm lost its biggest asset, Arsenal, to Adidas ADDYY. “Puma's partnership with City Football Group is the largest deal that we have ever done—both in scope and ambition,” Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden said a statement on Thursday.

Puma’s partnership is somewhat unique in the world of soccer as it includes all of the teams under City Football Group’s larger umbrella of clubs around the globe—aside from one notable exception. The German sportswear firm will soon see its logo on the chest of one of the biggest and quickly ascending teams in the world, which should help it compete against its rival Adidas, who spent upwards of $100 a year to steal Manchester United MANU away from Nike a few years back.

Puma has aggressively pushed into the global sports market over the last year, after French luxury conglomerate Kering spun off most of its controlling stake in the German sportswear maker last year. The company jumped back into basketball in a big way in 2018 and saw its revenues climb by double-digits.

On top of its ability to penetrate the sports performance market, Puma has been able to expand its business through popular culture. Puma has deals in place with some of the biggest names in fashion and music that help expand its reach across the quickly growing Instagram FB, which is only going to become more important in a mobile retail age.

All of this has helped Puma stand out against Under Armour UAA as it struggles to roll out compelling athleisure offerings and on-trend footwear. Puma’s ability to expand its fashion-based clothing and sneakers could help them grow in a market that has seen Lululemon LULU and the Gap’s GPS athleisure businesses expand.

The episode then closes with a look at ESPN’s recently announced daily sports betting show. ESPN will air Daily Wager five days a week on multiple outlets as the legal sports gambling market continues to expand in the U.S. Investors should pay attention to this market as it becomes more mainstream. For instance, all four major North American professional sports leagues have deals in place with either MGM MGM or Caesars CZR.

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 wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2019

In addition to the stocks discussed above, wouldn't you like to know about our 10 finest buy-and-holds for the year?

From more than 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank, these 10 were picked by a process that consistently beats the market. Even during 2018 while the market dropped -5.2%, our Top 10s were up well into double-digits. And during bullish 2012 – 2017, they soared far above the market's +126.3%, reaching +181.9%.

This year, the portfolio features a player that thrives on volatility, an AI comer, and a dynamic tech company that helps doctors deliver better patient outcomes at lower costs.

See Stocks Today >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Caesars Entertainment Corporation (CZR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
MGM Resorts International (MGM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Walt Disney Company (DIS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Facebook, Inc. (FB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Manchester United Ltd. (MANU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
lululemon athletica inc. (LULU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Gap, Inc. (GPS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
NIKE, Inc. (NKE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Adidas AG (ADDYY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Under Armour, Inc. (UAA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research