Being one of the wealthiest people in the world comes with many perks.

You more or less have the freedom to do what you want, when you want, wherever you want. For many, this means pursuing passion projects that they also plan to produce a prodigious profit from. 

That might include building space rockets to fulfill a lifelong dream of being an astronaut while also charging others for the privilege of going along with them, or start a tech company in the hopes of changing the world. 

Many other of the world’s richest billionaires decide to put money into their love of sport. In some ways, this is similar to an average Joe or Josephine spending their hard-earned cash on a season ticket. However, in many other ways, it’s very different. 

Buying a sports team gives you status, power and control. You become the one in charge of hiring and firing players and managers, directly contributing to the team’s success. Depending on the team you buy and the league in which they compete, the cherry on top is that you might also get to see a sizable return on your investment. 

If you’re not part of the 1%, you might be wondering what you can do to get a slice of this action. Can you invest in sports too? In short, yes, though don’t go expecting to be able to rock up at the stadium and start throwing your weight around. You can, however, add some exposure to the sports industry to your portfolio. Here are a few ways you can do.

Buy Shares in a Sports Team

The most direct way to invest in sports is to buy shares in a publicly-traded team. The benefit of this approach is you can own a share of one (or more) of the world’s most famous and successful clubs without needing a bank balance that’s as long as your phone number. 

There is one major downside, though, as only a handful of major teams are actually listed on a stock exchange. One of these is England’s Manchester United, while in the US, buying shares in Madison Square Garden Sports will get you exposure to the New York Knicks and New York Rangers. Meanwhile, Canadian investors wanting to own a piece of a domestic team can invest in Rogers Communications, the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC. 

Consider a Sports Betting Company

Another option to consider is buying shares in a betting company.

It is, after all, a huge industry that is directly connected to the world of professional sports.

In the US, in particular, sports betting is growing at a rapid pace following the striking down of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018. 

Five years on and American bettors have a wealth of different options from many of the world’s best-known sportsbook brands.

So much so, in fact, that sites like OddsChecker have been created to help punters compare the different options available to them.

They do this by reviewing all the major bookies and listing the free bet promotions that they offer so that users can choose which one best suits their needs. 

There are many publicly traded companies within the sports betting industry, with options at stock exchanges on either side of the Atlantic. 

Whole League Options

Another option is to buy shares in an entire sports league. Unfortunately, however, you only have a few to choose from.

This is because most leagues are owned by the teams that compete within them or by a governing body. 

In the US, the major leagues operate on a model where the teams all share in the ownership rights and obligations.

In Europe, most leagues use this approach or are owned by the not-for-profit organization that sets the rules. 

For example, the English Premier League is owned by the 20 teams that compete within it, while the European Champions League is the domain of UEFA, the European football confederation that cites the rules for the sport on the continent. 

You can still buy some leagues. For example, buying shares in Liberty Media gets you exposure to Formula 1. Alternatively, while basketball fans can’t buy shares in the NBA, they can add the American Basketball Association to their portfolios. Sadly, the ABA’s shares are not traded on an exchange. Instead, they are bought and sold over the counter, making them far less liquid and harder to assess their value.

Read: How to Invest in the Stock Market for Beginners