Is Speedway Publicly Traded? [Updated!]

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to loom over the globe, the world of sport is taking a heavy pounding. The latest reports indicate that over 162 million people in the U.S. alone are now under self-isolation orders. The implications for professional sports are profound – including NASCAR Racing, the world’s most popular sport. If you’re a fan of NASCAR, then you have to ask yourself, “Is Speedway Publicly Traded?” Let’s take a closer look at this question…

Will My Favorite Team Still Be Around In 2021?

From a corporate standpoint, Speedway Motorsports Inc. (NYSE: SMO) (NYSE: SMO) and its subsidiaries are doing well. As you may know, the companies that own the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – including INDYCAR, the governing body of NASCAR Racing – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early March. This was widely anticipated after the COVID-19 pandemic caused races at IMS and elsewhere to be postponed. Still, it’s worth pointing out that both companies and their subsidiaries are operating as normal and are making efforts to resume their operations as soon as possible. That said, the outlook for both INDYCAR and NASCAR at least in the short term is bleak.

What About The Teams?

One of the major questions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is, “Who cares about the teams? We’re not getting any racing anyway.” It’s true that some of NASCAR‘s biggest races are now indefinitely postponed, causing massive upheaval to the 2020 racing season. Still, the teams and their personnel remain vital – especially in the long term. In fact, some of the industry’s largest companies emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic with increased market value and new sports opportunities.

Take for example Furniture Row Racing. As you may know, the team has six cars that compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The team is owned by Rick Hendrick, the owner of the legendary Team Penske. During the pandemic, Furniture Row Racing filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but emerged from the pandemic with newly constructed teams in the NASCAR Cup Series. As a result, shares of Furniture Row Racing gained value by 38% from April 19 to May 18, 2021, compared to the S&P 500’s gain of 14% across the same period. Likewise, Dickieson Racing, a team that also competes in the NASCAR Cup Series, experienced an 82% gain in value during the same period (April 19 to May 18, 2021).

Now let’s look at some of the up-and-coming young drivers that could emerge as the next big thing in NASCAR. Between the ages of 20 and 29, there are over 100 million American adults that play sports. It’s the perfect demographic for NASCAR and the industry in aggregate. According to ESPN, there were over 200,000 applicants for the 2021 NASCAR Sprint Cup, which could be the biggest year for the sport since the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The upcoming draft for the NASCAR Cup Series – which will take place in October 2021 – could also reshape the sport. In 2021, there will be a maximum of 24 drivers competing in each NASCAR Cup Series race. That’s a record number of drivers, and it could mean more opportunities for up-and-coming young racing stars. Keep in mind that in the past, the top two finishers in each race received prizes. In the coming years, winning could become truly valuable. As the industry continues to evolve, so too will NASCAR.

Will My Favorite Athletes Get Medals?

Athletes are frequently in the spotlight when it comes to paying attention to what’s going on in the world. For example, many people now follow the road to the Tokyo Olympics via virtual reality (VR) headsets. The number of people watching and participating in Olympic sports via VR is set to hit 20 million in 2021, compared to 10 million in 2020.

Similarly, the world of esports is evolving as well. The industry is valued at over $15 billion and it’s growing every year. In 2021, there will be a record-breaking 64 games in the League of Legends (LoL) Championship. That’s up from 58 games in 2020 and 48 games in 2019. This explosion of interest in esports is also being reflected in the professional sports world. The Chicago White Sox will have a dedicated esports team in the near future. In 2021, the Los Angeles Dodgers are planning on doing the same. And just this month, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed a multi-year contract to be the official esports partner of Major League Gaming (MLG).

As the popularity of these and other sports increase, so too will the demand for their medals. The Tokyo Olympics has already implemented a policy where every medal will have a chip in it so the value will be trackable and medals can be verified. This is similar to the system used for the Pan American Games. Let’s hope that the Pan American Games and other international sporting events take note and institute a similar system for their medals. That way, we’ll know for sure that no one is counterfeiting or faking these valuable items.

Will Popular Celebs Be On The Rise?

One of the biggest draws to esports and other sports are celebrities. The entertainment industry has frequently attached itself to sports in the past, using its stars to endorse certain brands, products, and services. In 2021 alone, there will be 22 officially licensed esports teams, which will attract a massive audience. Several famous faces will be appearing at the launch of these teams. For example, rapper Lil Nas X will be representing the Houston Astros at a special event on August 19, 2021.

The phenomenon of athletes and sports stars being recognized as celebrities is also being seen in esports. In fact, this has been such a prominent trend that there’s a parody Twitter account called @sports_celebrities, which mocks the way celebrities participate in esports.

The account was started by @FancyKim1 and @LunatiqueLux and is inspired by real-life pairings of famous athletes with famous comedians, digital influencers, and other celebrities.

To this point, some popular American celebrities have gotten into the act as well. In late April, rapper Cardi B and baseball player Mike Trout were both featured on a limited edition Nike sneaker. Then, in early May, actors Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were also on the heels of a new line of sneakers. The sneakers were a collaboration between Nike, Yeezy, and Epic Games. Finally, on May 7, 2021, basketball superstar LeBron James joined the list of celebrities wearing Nike sneakers with his images on the heels and outsole.

These celebrity associations with sneakers often result in a sales boost for the brands and products that they endorse. In the case of LeBron James, he is the best-selling athlete in the world and his sneaker collaborations have proven to be among the most successful in the industry. In fact, the apparel and accessories category grew its share from 6% to 7% in 2021, according to the NPD group. This is compared to the industry’s total category share of 14%.

Will my favorite athlete be able to capitalize on their newfound fame? As the pandemic continues to loom over the sports world, we’ll soon find out. Still, it’s an exciting time to be a fan of sports.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!