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NHL Arena Sponsors Become Unlikely Highfliers in Stock Market

  • Companies with NHL naming rights see 23% return this year
  • Airline stocks and banks lead the way among top performers
The Vegas Golden Knights take the ice for Game One of the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the Montreal Canadiens at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, on June 14. 

The Vegas Golden Knights take the ice for Game One of the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the Montreal Canadiens at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, on June 14. 

Photographer: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It’s conventional wisdom that putting your name on an arena or stadium is a red flag for investors, who often see it as a waste of money. But in a year when meme-stock mania exists, conventional wisdom is irrelevant.

That’s the case when looking at the 21 publicly traded companies with naming rights to arenas used by NHL teams. Shares of such companies have returned an average of 23% in 2021, outperforming the S&P 500 by 9.3 percentage points and the S&P/TSX Composite by 6 points.