Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Benjamin Gillen

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2023 Benjamin Pelz


My thesis will investigate the viability of ownership stake investments in professional sports teams by institutional investors and asset managers. Historical data reveal strong and consistent strong returns for US sports teams. With league governance rules changing to accept financial-backed buyers into the ownership sphere, the time to think of sports teams as strong investments is now. The current state of transaction valuation for sports franchises comes with high acquisition premiums, part of my thesis will look at whether the acquisition premiums are ground by financial parameters or if premiums are driven by owner demographics. Then, I will assess the unique risk and return characteristics of professional teams that differentiate them from other assets and compare sports returns to those of various market securities, commodities, and alternative investments. Understanding key drivers in the valuation of teams can help institutional investors and asset managers with future investment opportunities. Lastly, I introduce sports franchises as the next asset class for institutional investors and explain how they can be labeled as an asset class and potential due diligence factors that can reveal a good sports investment.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.