The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: NIKE, Under Armour, Alphabet and Facebook

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 18, 2018 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include NIKE, Inc. NKE, Under Armour, Inc. UAA, Alphabet Inc. GOOGL and Facebook, Inc. FB.

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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

U.S. to Co-Host 2026 FIFA World Cup: Which Stocks Will Gain?

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has kicked off in Russia with the host taking on Saudi Arabia in the inaugural match. There seems to be nothing much to look forward to for the United States in this world cup. But the world’s biggest economy along with neighbors Canada and Mexico has clinched the opportunity to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, beating Morocco.

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This is definitely good news for North America at a time when political tension is looming between the United States and its once allies, Canada and Mexico. Winning the world cup bid is expected to boost the United States’ and Canada’s joint football event, Major League Soccer (MLS). Moreover, companies like NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox also have ample reasons to rejoice this bid clinched by the three countries.

Hosting 2026 World Cup is Good News for MLS

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be bigger than the ongoing tournament in Russia. This year’s World Cup has 32 teams competing for the coveted title, while in 2026 the number of teams will be 48. Moreover, instead of 64 matches this time around, 80 matches will be played. The United States will host 60 matches, while Canada and Mexico will host 10 matches each.

With the United States becoming one of the co-hosts of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, ESPN’s Darren Rovell said that the “profile of U.S. soccer” will get a boost. Additionally, MLS franchises and sponsors are also expected to gain from this latest development. In fact, only last year, Adidas AG has signed a $700-million deal with MLS to retain the league’s official sponsorship at least till 2024.

Telemundo, Fox Clear Winners of 2026 World Cup

With the United States, Canada and Mexico chosen as the host of 2026 FIFA World Cup, broadcasters like Comcast Corporation-owned NBCUniversal’s Telemundo and Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. are likely to gain. Way back in 2011, Telemundo and Fox together paid $1.1 billion to corner the U.S. rights to broadcast the 2018 Russia World Cup and the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

However, FIFA feared that Qatar’s high temperatures may have a negative impact on the entire competition, following which FIFA decided to stage the mega football event in the fall of 2022. This did not go down well with Telemundo and Fox as other big sporting events, like National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and National Football League take place during that time.

In order to make up for this situation, FIFA decided to give the broadcasting rights for 2026 World Cup in the United States to Telemundo and Fox in a private auction. This in turn is definitely a positive for these two television networks.

What Does This 3-Nation Event Mean for FIFA?

The United States together with Canada and Mexico won the joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup in a 134 to 65 vote. North America is projected to generate revenues of $14 billion, while FIFA’s profits are estimated to be around $11 billion. The amount is more than half of what Morocco, another contender for the 2026 event, could offer the football regulatory body.

This is definitely a big opportunity for sports footwear and apparel company, NIKE, Inc. Moreover, smaller competitors like Under Armour, Inc. can also gain from the event by sponsoring participating countries.

Given this scenario, other companies like YouTube-owner Alphabet Inc. and social networking giant Facebook, Inc., are also expected to gain. Both Alphabet and Facebook have a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Conclusion

For the first time, three countries, the United States, Canada and Mexico, will be hosting a FIFA World Cup. The 2026 event is certainly big news for broadcasters, sports apparel and footwear designers, streaming networks, and social media behemoths.

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