The sports world will be fixated on the 2022 World Cup from November 20 to December 18. The 32-team soccer tournament is expected to attract 5B viewers to make it the most watched sporting event in history. Fox Sports (FOX) (FOXA) and Telemundo are the official FIFA World Cup English and Spanish language broadcast rights-holders for the tournament, which will take place at stadiums in Qatar.
For investors, the biggest implication with the men’s World Cup could be in the sports betting sector after a wave of legalization since the last time the U.S. played in the final round of the tournament in 2014. Covers.com sports betting reporter Geoff Zochonde previewed that the obvious candidates for a World Cup sports betting lift would be DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) and FanDuel (OTCPK:PDYPY). He also thinks the World Cup could be an opportunity for smaller operators in the U.S. that have roots outside the country to showcase deeper betting markets to their American clientele during the tournament. Roundhill Investment’s Will Hershey thinks the World Cup could benefit Entain (OTCPK:GMVHF), as well as European betting stock peers such as Kindred Group (OTC:KNDGF) and 888 Holdings (OTCPK:EIHDF). Analysts are also pointing at benefits for MGM Resorts (MGM) and Caesars Entertainment (CZR) with their World Cup promotions seen as well-timed. Bettson (OTC:BTSBF), Bet365 and Super Group’s (SGHC) Betway are some of the smaller betting shops that could see a big Q4 boost.
Outside of sports betting plays, Bank of America tipped that Ambev S.A. (ABEV) typically sees an incremental boost in beer sales during the World Cup, while Evercore ISI said it sees a big tailwind for Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) this quarter from the global focus on the tournament. Anheuser-Busch InBev has had a bit of rough start to the World Cup after a last-minute decision was made to ban the sale of alcohol at the stadiums in Qatar where they games will be played. However, those sales are just a small part of the overall benefit forecast for BUD from the World Cup.
The winter timing of the World Cup is expected to be a positive for retailer Marks & Spencer (OTCQX:MAKSF), but hold back traffic to pubs in the U.K. and cut down upside for operators like J.D. Wetherspoon (OTCPK:JDWPF).
The cryptocurrency market is looking to create some positive buzz from the World Cup after a disastrous couple of week following the FTX collapse. Promotions involving sports fan tokens, Web3, non-fungible token-powered trading games, branded NFT collections and metaverse worlds will be seen. Roblox (RBLX) and Binance are both expected to be in the World Cup spotlight.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo thinks the unique timing of the World Cup around the holidays sets up well for Electronic Arts (EA) with its FIFA videogame release. Taking a broader view, the firm thinks one of the clear winners from the World Cup could be the host nation of Qatar itself. The event is seen having the potential to enhance Qatar’s status on the global stage and make the tiny nation more influential with economic affairs going forward. Companies with relationships in Qatar include JetBlue (JBLU), ConocoPhillps (COP), Exxon Mobil (XOM), and TotalEnergies (TTE). The iShares MSCI Qatar ETF (QAT) is up 3.67% year-to-date to top most global stock market indexes. Qatar banks are heavily represented in the ETF. See all the top holdings of the ETF.
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