Alright, fantasy gurus — it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.
After the fantasy football industry exploded into record profits and skewed the game towards garish offensive numbers, investment firm Fantex Brokerage Services is set to give fans an even deeper level of interaction with their favorite players. In the next few weeks, Fantex will be offering fans the opportunity to invest a portion of their own wealth in a stake of Arian Foster‘s future earnings.
The concept of privately bankrolling up-and-coming athletes in boxing or tennis isn’t anything new, but Fantex is offering a publicly traded system of gains and losses. Fantex and Foster have agreed to a deal that will pay $10 million to the running back for a 20 percent stake in his future income: contracts, product endorsement deals and other “business related revenue,” Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reports.
Instead of banking on Foster’s athletic performance week-to-week, fans are essentially predicting that Foster as a marketable product or business value will continue to grow in profitability. The bigger the brand of an athlete, like LeBron James or Tom Brady, the more likely that athlete will continue to make money, even after retirement.
Performance is obviously a major factor that can contribute to bigger endorsement deals, but any number of off-field actions could sway Foster’s marketability — for better or worse.
Fantex is reportedly working on similar deals with other athletes, but any fan interested in grabbing a piece of Foster’s initial public offering can register with them over the next few weeks. Barring any trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission, fans could be buying and selling Foster’s stock within a month.
Throwing money into the stock market is never without risk, but the fact that a Houston Texan agreed to these terms seems to be the riskiest part of the deal — Texans fans have let Matt Schaub know loud and clear what they think of his poor play, and he didn’t lose anybody’s money.
Imagine what could happen if Foster fumbles on the 1-yard-line, losing the game and millions of other people’s dollars.