Football-focused leisure company Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment is teaming with Sports Illustrated Studios as part of its plan to develop a Hard Knocks-like television show. The stock market ran with the news and sent its shares surging Thursday, up 80 percent to $3.41 on massive volume.
Hall of Fame (HOFV) is developing an entertainment and recreation complex alongside the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The company announced Wednesday night that SI Media, a division formed in May, and WaV Sports and Entertainment, a sports marketing firm, will create “an exclusive, original docuseries,” based on the NFL Alumni Academy, a free agent training camp that debuted at the company’s facilities this month.
“This partnership with WaV and SI Studios is an important step in helping us become an even stronger and more diversified resort and entertainment company…. to highlight our unique capabilities to create one-of-a-kind content that capitalizes on the incredible popularity of football,” HOFV CEO Michael Crawford said in a statement.
Shares opened 60% higher at $3.04 and surged as high as $6.45 during the day. Some 93.97 million shares traded hands, according to preliminary data from Nasdaq. That is more than three times greater than the cumulative volume HOFV shares have traded in its lifetime before today. HOFV’s float—the number of shares available to freely trade—is 3.63 million, which means that on average, every share of the company changed hands almost 26 times today.
Even with today’s surge, HOFV shares remain the worst performer by far in the JohnWallStreet Sports Index of 40 stocks reflecting the state of the sports business. Including today’s gains, Hall of Fame Resort shares have lost 36% since the debut of the index this summer. Overall the Sportico index stocks are up 19.2% the past three months.
The market didn’t mind Hall of Fame doesn’t have a distribution partner for the proposed docuseries. Traders also brushed off the company’s earnings report, also released last night. Hall of Fame Resort had $1.68 million in sales compared to $2.17 million a year ago in the third quarter. The company’s loss bulged to $10.3 million from $4.8 million as well.
The NFL Alumni Academy, part of Crawford’s vision of making the company a diversified provider of sports entertainment, is expected to be an annual camp where free agents train with NFL alumni to provide talent to the league during the season. Coaches this year include Mike Tice, Anthony Munoz and Jay Hayes. The inaugural camp has been limited to offensive and defensive linemen and running backs. Next year more skill positions will be added to the camp, Crawford told Sportico in October. The docuseries on the free agent camp is also intended to be an annual production, although the company has yet to secure a distribution deal. Videographers have been taking footage at the camp since September in anticipation of producing media content.
Sports Illustrated Studios is a venture formed in May this year as a joint venture between Authentic Brands Group, SI’s owner, and 101 Studios, a Hollywood-based entertainment production company from well-known producer David Glasser. 101 Studios’ funders include Ron Burkle, co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins. WaV is also working with NFL Alumni to develop youth events.
(This story has been updated with news of Hall of Fame Village’s stock performance throughout.)