Chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Vince McMahon sold 3.34 million company shares, worth more than $100 million (shares closed at $31.87 on Thursday); noting the proceeds were “primarily to fund a separate entity from the Company, Alpha Entertainment LLC, which he established to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football.” On December 16th, Alpha filed for 5 different trademarks on “XFL”; in addition to recently registered marks on “URFL”, “United Football League”, “UFL” and “For the love of Football”. The XFL ran for just one season before folding in 2001.
Howie Long-Short: WWE shares hit an all-time high earlier this week ($32.92), so while Vince is selling a decent chunk of the company (4.3%); he’s cashing out at the right time. He’ll also still owns 41.8% of all outstanding WWE common shares (with 82.8% of the voting power). I simply question the feasibility of the XFL 2.0 success. The league lost $70 million the first time around and had the benefit of NBC’s (CMCSA) promotion behind it. Does a few extra months of training camp really make a difference? Fool me once (for a half), shame on you. I won’t be fooled again.
Fan Marino: While on the topic of upstart leagues, LaVar Ball’s Junior Basketball Association seems to be based on flawed logic. The top HS players can get paid $1 million to go overseas, so they aren’t playing for $100,000; and there is no market to watch second-tier HS players, without the emotional attachment of a college jersey on them. Oh, and who is funding this league? BBB is the apparel and sneaker provider, eliminating any potential for the usual suspects (NKE, ADDYY) to participate.
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