DENVER — NFL kickoffs could soon feel a bit more like the opening of the stock market because fans now have the opportunity to buy stock in an NFL player.
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has partnered with a company called Fantex to offer fans an opportunity to invest in his career and receive a share of his future earnings.
Under the deal Arian Foster gets a $10 Million dollar initial investment, in return, investors get 20 percent of all of his future income, including contracts, endorsements and appearance fees.
Before going public, the Fantex has to convince enough of the public that Foster is a good investment.
“I work hard for my money and I use my money to play with. I buy toys,” said football fan Mervat Berry. “But I’m sure other fans would.”
“If I was a gambling man, I’d probably try it,” said football fan Thomas Hernandez. It definitely makes sports a little more interesting.”
Others say no way.
“We already try and invest by buying their merchandise and it doesn’t work out too well for us,” said football fan Johnathan Peppin.
“It’s probably not a good investment,” said Mac Clouse, a finance professor for Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.
Clouse says even though players sign contracts that are worth millions, their careers don’t last long and can be cut even shorter due to injury, and that’s not the only risk.
“You have no market to get out of this, Clouse said. “There’s no liquidity in this investment. If you wanted to sell it tomorrow, it’s not clear to whom you’d sell it or how you’d sell it.”
The concept does have one big supporter. John Elway is a board member for the company. In a statement he said, “Fantex represents a powerful new opportunity for professional athletes, and I wish it were available during my playing days.”
Now that Elway is a Broncos executive, some say his connection to Foster is a conflict of interest.
“It’s in John’s best interest, as the owner of part of Arian, to have Arian do incredibly well, just not quite well enough to win the game,” Clouse said.
Elway has not responded to the accusations of a conflict of interest.