Note to readers: As I have had a really busy Summer and early Fall preparing for the now recently concluded HR Technology Conference, the posting frequency here has been pretty diminished lately. Additionally, I find myself well behind my regular number of 'sports' posts that form the basis of my contribution to the annual 8 Man Rotation E-book on sports and HR. So I have declared this week of October 21 to be 'Sports Week' on the blog. I'm shooting for 5 days of sports-themed posts to make sure I don't get dropped from the 8 Man crew. So if sports takes are not your thing, check back in a week of so, when I will probably have another equally inane theme working.
Last week a really unusual story dropped about NFL Houston Texans player Arian Foster's plan to essentially 'go public' and have a personal Initial Public Offering. Through a sports management company called Fantex, the plan is for Foster to float shares in himself that would enable investors to have a claim on 20% of his future career earnings. Fantex is looking to sell as much as $10 million in Foster equity, taking a half million fee for themselves for the trouble. It is also a pretty good deal for Foster, (assuming the $10M in shares gets snatched up). He gets essentially an advance on $10M of future earnings he may or may not even realize. The shelf-life of NFL players, even top stars like Foster, is notoriously short. One bad step or rough tackle to the knees and the newly 'listed' Foster might not earn another dollar in the NFL.
While the Arian Foster story is kind of a goof, and one that seems to only have even a chance of actually working due to his notoriety and fame, it did get me thinking about the feasibility of similar career earnings investment schemes for 'normal' people.
Would there be a potential market for shares of your future career earnings for example? Could you convince someone to invests $50 or $100 in you today with the promise of a potential windfall as you climb the corporate ladder or start up the next big App that all the kids will be using next year?
And if the market for 'you' might not be so hot, how about your kids? The ones that you are going to have to help get through college and are likely to end up back in their middle-school bedrooms with you after they graduate? Could you maybe help them float an IPO that just might raise enough money to put them in a 2007 Camry and a studio apartment downtown so you can finally create that game room in your house you have been dreaming about since 1995?
The Foster story is basically absurd and it probably won't amount to much, but it does make you think about your own career a little bit I think.
If you actually were a publicly tradable security what would your market look like?
Would there be an intense battle by investors to get in on your IPO action?
What would your ticker symbol be?