World of Sport

Would you buy shares in Andros Townsend?

World of Sport

View gallery


This is like fantasy football but to a much higher level.

According to the New York Times, Fantex Holdings is going to start offering stocks in athletes, and the value and performance will be tied to their economic success, including contracts, endorsements and appearance fees.

When players make money, investors make their cut.

So how long will it be until the general public are weighing up potential offers to buy up shares in England footballers, or top tennis players?

A rising star such as Andros Townsend could see frantic stake offers, while trading stock offered for more established sporting names could be shunned.

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster of the NFL will be the first athlete offered through Fantex.

There will be an initial public offering for a minority stake in Foster. There will be $10.5 million (£6.5m) of stock in Foster's brand available, and the minimum investment is $50.

The Times said Fantex hopes to sell stock in other football players, athletes in other sports, pop singers and Hollywood actors.

It is a real trading stock being offered offered "pursuant to a registration statement that has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)," according to the Fantex site.

If this all sounds a little strange, just know that the Times said Foster will make $10 million off of this deal.

View gallery


There will be 1.06 million shares offered according to the Times, and Fantex may cancel the deal if the demand is less than the number of shares being offered.

This seems to be trying to capitalise off of the popularity of fantasy football, where owners draft players and benefit from their stats on the field, and the NFL itself.

Athletes' salaries and endorsement deals are often large and common knowledge to the public, and perhaps the fans want in on the action as an investor in a particular athlete's brand.

The story says Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway is on Fantex's board of directors.

While it is pretty unique, it's impossible to know how investing in an athlete like Foster will pay off for investors. The average career of a NFL running back is fairly short, and the performance of many athletes can suddenly rise or fall. According to the Times, the marketing materials Fantex has made speaks to that uncertainty.

"The offering is highly speculative and the securities involve a high degree of risk," Fantex says in its marketing materials, according to the Times

"Investing in a Fantex Inc. tracking stock should only be considered by persons who can afford the loss of their entire investment."

View gallery


Frank Schwab | Shutdown Corner | Yahoo! Sports

View comments (14)