Not the Onion: Fantex Lets People Invest In Celebrity Income


With athletes and entertainers so caught up in maintaining the value of their brand, it was only a matter of time before someone started an exchange. Fantex Holdings is a new Wall Street brokerage firm that will give people the opportunity to invest in a star’s future earnings according to an SEC filing released today. The stocks for each celebrity will be launched just like a traditional IPO, and shareholders will be entitled to a cut of the star’s earnings, whether it be from their day job (as an athlete, for example) promotions, movie spots, and so forth.


It seems like a good deal for Foster

The first celebrity IPO will be Houston Texan running back Arian Foster, who is set to receive $10 million in exchange for 20 percent of his earnings from last march, with a $10.5 million termination fee if his career is cut short (less than two years from the IPO) by injuries. It seems like a good deal for Foster, who would have to pay Fantex less than $5 million by the time he turns 30, at which point his career will be ending, if not over. The upside for investors is he may find another lucrative career after football, either as a coach or as an actor (he’s been cast in a movie opposite Kevin Costner).

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Anyone who’s interested can buy stocks for a minimum investment of $50, with the restriction that no one can own more than 1 percent of any given celebrity’s tracking stocks. Fantex doesn’t have anyone else lined up at the moment, and while the company is currently looking to sign more athletes, CEO Buck French ultimately imagines that all types of celebrities would have tracking stocks on the exchange.

Fantex could be an easy way to cash in on fame

As long as the company is willing to give such generous deals, there’s no reason he won’t get more people onboard. For an A-lister with practically no limit to potential earnings, it might be a bad move. But for a musician with a single hit or an athlete who doesn’t expect to have a long career, signing up with Fantex could be an easy way to cash in on fame that will most likely be fleeting.