Jason Sugarman Explains Why L.A. Should Get Excited about Soccer, Not Football

Investing in football is not always as it’s cracked up to be. Let’s take Los Angeles professional football, for example. The NFL is desperately trying to make it work but is epically failing at doing so. The early season results of L.A. football have been dismal, to put it mildly. Football fans don’t seem to be interested in Rams paying the Seahawks, despite the team’s stars practically begging fans to attend the event. Even worse are the Chargers, who recently played a shockingly disastrous 0-4 game.

The Dolphins-Chargers game on the second week of the season saw many empty bleachers. The home team was publicly humiliated when the visiting Eagles players managed to make the remaining crowd cheer for them instead. The incident even lead Dick Stockton to claim, quite amazed, that he’s never seen a “visiting player getting the crowd loud against the home team.”

It seems that L.A. football is getting attention for all the wrong reasons. But the city can safely be crazy about the other football, called soccer here, that doesn’t fail to fill the stadiums. For those who are disappointed in L.A. football, veteran investor Jason Sugarman lists some of the reasons to get excited about L.A. soccer instead:

LAFC will Make a Grand Debut in 2018

The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) is the most recent entry to Major League Soccer. LAFC will make its debut in the 2018 season, and there are plenty of reasons to get excited. LAFC is funded by celebrity investors like Will Ferrell, Magic Johnson, and Mr. Sugarman. Recently, the Club held an event to break the ground to build the highly anticipated Banc of California stadium in the namesake hometown. The star-studded event was attended by LAFC’s co-owners, investors, sports people and local politicians.

The event took off to a great start with Club’s co-owner, Mr. Ferrell, as a homage to his Hollywood persona, putting down a gauntlet jokingly. The event announced the Club’s naming rights partnership, which was called the “the largest sponsorship in the history of MLS” by LAFC managing owner Larry Berg. Hopes are high that LAFC will make a huge impact on MLS overall.

The Club has signed on players Rodrigo Pacheco, Bassey Etim and Carlos Alvarez, so it’s not hard to believe that LAFC will make a huge splash next year. The team is being coached by the former national team coach Bob Bradley. LAFC is also under the keen supervision of general team manager John Thorrington.

All Signs Indicate that Soccer is the Better Investment, Not Football

Investments follow the “smart money.” Right now, smart money doesn’t seem to be in L.A. football. The ability to draw “correct inferences” from market trends is a crucial skill in becoming a good investor (or at least an economist), according to Stanford’s economics program. Mr. Sugarman, who graduated with a B.A. in economics from Stanford, sees great potential for L.A. soccer much more than L.A. football. Sports fans in the city are already shunning local football, while soccer seems to get everyone excited. Therefore, the investment opportunities right now seem to be in soccer.

Investors Get Access to the Box Seats Everyone Wants

Football fans may have to go to war to get the best box seats, but for the investors of a team like LAFC, the box seats are guaranteed. Not only do box seats give a great view of the game being played, you also get to sit next to other important people. The use of the director’s box has long been hailed as a major opportunity to network with other financiers and investors. Businesspeople can meet others who could potentially become clients. Also, everyone loves the sport, so that’s always a great way to prompt a genuine connection.

Soccer generally attracts more investments than NFL because the sport has a global appeal that most other sports in America don’t. Global appeal translates to millions in profits. As Mr. Sugarman shows, that’s definitely one of the major reasons to invest in a soccer team. Also, the city seems to be into soccer much more than football anyway. Entrepreneurs who have always loved the game can benefit professionally and personally by investing in soccer clubs.