With the Atlanta Braves being the only club in Major League Baseball to have their finances revealed publicly, their second quarter financial report shows that the club is seeing increased revenue and profit growth.
With Liberty Media owning the club, their quarterly report shows that between baseball-related revenue and revenue through the Battery mixed-use development outside the ballpark, the Braves Group saw Q2 operating income – a form of profit – of $37 million, up +16% from their first quarter of $32 million. Accounting for Q1 and Q2, operating income is $69 million. With two months left in the regular season, and the team on track for the playoffs, profits for the club should exceed $100 million.
Year-over-year, the Braves group sees a 16% increase in profits. In Q2 of 2021, Liberty Media reported that the Braves saw $32 million in operating income.
Revenues were exceptionally robust for the club. Baseball-related revenues were $247 million while the Battery development pulled in $13 million for a total of $260 million for the quarter, up +20% from Q1 with $216 million.
Baseball-related revenue includes streams such as ticket sales, concessions, corporate sponsorship sales, retail, suites, premium seat fees, and postseason), local media rights, and centralized revenues from Major League Baseball such as national media rights and licensing. This year marked the start of new national TV and streaming deals which accounts for a sizable bump in centralized revenue growth for all the clubs in the league. The league will see $12 billion in national media rights through just national television partners when they expire in 2028.
According to the report, in both the first and second quarters approximately $2 million of corporate level selling, general, and administrative expense (including stock-based compensation expense) was allocated to the Braves Group.
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The Braves are an interesting case study given they won the World Series in 2021 which increases season ticket sales and sponsorships. Their profits are assuredly not at the top of the 30 clubs for the league, but assuredly place them in the top quartile.
Key to the financial well-being of the Braves centers on 2022 returning to full-capacity capability at Truist Park, home to the team games. For the 2021 regular season, the Braves saw capacity restrictions due to the pandemic with fans in attendance capped at 33% for the first home game on April 9th, which increased to 50% capacity beginning April 23rd. It wasn’t until May 7th of 2021 that the ballpark was allowed to be at full capacity.
Should the Braves not repeat as World Series champions in 2022, some revenues may drop slightly. However, new revenue streams are coming for all 30 clubs in 2023.
Clubs can negotiate uniform patch deals with sponsors. The initial size agreed upon by the league and union for the players will be 4-by-4-inch and can be placed on either the right or left sleeve of the on-field uniform. At a minimum, all sponsorship partners must remain consistent for at least a year.
Starting with this year’s playoffs, the league is negotiating a helmet decal sponsor that will account for new centralized revenue that affect all 30 clubs.