Own Shares of Athletes (Like Stocks): Fantasy Sports, But For Real Life
How this British Company Plans to Allow Investors and Sports Fans to Buy A Piece of An Athletes Future Earnings.
You ever see an athlete sign an insane contract and go “I wish I could gain some of that?”
I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan so this happened when TJ Watt signed a 4 year $112M dollar contract extension.
I felt invested in TJ Watt’s future having owned his jersey since draft day.
Indirectly, I felt like his agent and that I was a part of his journey.
But what if there was a way to buy shares of your favorite athletes and teams - just like a publicly traded company on the stock market?
Imagine getting the opportunity to invest early in the career of Lebron James or Patrick Mahomes.
Well…this is the goal of sports tech startup Globatalent.
Buying Shares of an Athlete
Globatalent is a Spanish online platform that allows fans to invest in the careers of sports stars and receive part of their future incomes.
CEO Sunil Bhardwaj worked 20 years for the Asociación de Clubs de Baloncesto (top basketball league in Spain) before founding this new company.
Globatalent has positioned itself to help everyone in the ecosystem:
an online fundraising platform for rising stars
more publicity and funds early in their career
increased fan engagement
another avenue for funding
a way to turn a passion into a profit
piece of the athletes success monetarily
Fan Engagement is Changing
The global sports market encompasses 97% of the world’s population and is nearing a trillion dollars.
Innovators are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing.
Esports, wearable technology, and virtual reality are all emerging verticals in the field of sports tech, signaling lucrative opportunities for investors.
But just like sports are changing, so are the fans, who are becoming main actors in the ecosystem.
78% of the investors, founders, and professionals surveyed by Tech Crunch selected fan engagement technologies as the sector that would make the biggest impact on the sports industry in the next decade.
Organizations use to only care about spectators, but thanks to the internet they can now be anywhere in the world.
Technology brings the fan closer to the athletes and organizations.
Fantasy Sports, But In Real-Life
Globatalent is incentivizing fans to support their favorite clubs and athletes.
New fans hoping to turn a profit might jump into the scene and start tracking injury history, stats, and season schedules of high-profile stars.
In a way, it’s no different than fantasy sports.
But according to Bhardwaj, “Our users are the real owners. You don’t dream of being them.”
Think about how mad a fan gets when they lose a fantasy sports matchup because their player drops a touchdown catch.
What happens when they invest real money in to an athlete and they sustain a season-ending injury?
There’s real world consequences on both ends of this idea.
Hurdles Will Need to Be Overcome
Globatalent has a chance to succeed and change the way athletes, fans, and organizations interact.
However, a company by the name of SportBLX tried to do the same thing and is being investigated for fraud.
SportBLX aimed to "tokenize" and sell shares of professional athletes. After purchasing shares of an athletes future earnings - you would be granted a NFT.
The picture below is hard to see, but it shows that a minimum investment in Pete Hamilton is $1000 in return for 6% of his on-field earnings.
SportBLX is currently being sued by investors who claim the company squandered $1 million and lied about its business plan.
The idea of investing in athletes is interesting, but it’s different than investing in a company and has more personal consequences.
If you think athletes have mental health issues now, just imagine if this idea comes to fruition and fans have real money on their success.
As always, thanks for reading!
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Have a great weekend and stay safe.