It looks like we're going to have to wait a little longer to invest in our favorite minor league prospects. Though I get my $20 back, my retirement portfolio has been irreparably harmed-- if I can't diversify my risk into professional sports development, can I really sleep soundly at night?
Good point in the article: MLB's concerns with isolation from gambling. Not to imply the investing in prospects is akin to shady 1919 Black Sox-esque scandals, but given the steroid problems baseball is in the thralls of, the last thing they would want to encourage is that players are doing anything other than good ol' American try-your-best-and-win-because-you-love-playing-the-game-cleanly.
On the flip side, could investment contracts be designed to reverse the incentive to take performance enhancing drugs? I bet yes. Though to force every player to enter into such a deal isn't a good solution to the problem.
Bad point in the article: Assuming that players sell 5% for $50,000. There's no reason to believe both of these margins couldn't change; I'd be shocked if the market developed and it stayed at those levels sans regulation. More risk averse players could up the percentage. More talented or major-league-likely players could up the value, though given the reality of larger signing bonuses for those players there might be a natural ceiling that develops. Or perhaps the evolution of the player investment market will displace signing bonuses completely?
Edited: Here's the text of the email that Real Sports Investors sent out:
Dear Valued RSI Shareholders,
Since we launched our site in early December 2007, the response has been absolutely tremendous. Fans and Athletes alike love this concept and we cannot thank you enough for your support. Athletes are signing up with us because we can provide them with security in exchange for a piece of their potential. Fans like you have purchased shares for a number of different reasons and the excitement is tangible.
Thanks to your overwhelming response we know that our company’s mission and ideas have a place in the future of sports. With your help, we will be able to create the first market where future earnings of professional athletes can be traded.
In order to create a system that will allow players and fans the best experience possible we believe it is in everybody’s best interest to work with Major League Baseball. We have been in contact with them and in the coming months we will be working with Major League Baseball to make sure that RSI addresses all the needs of the larger baseball community especially fans and players.
We are committed to working quickly to achieve these goals, however we do not feel that it is fair to hold your money when we cannot set a definitive time table. In the next few days, we will be returning your money and you will no longer own any shares of Randy Newsom. We will be working with Pay Pal to remove ALL of the charges to your credit cards.
Our company has two goals. The first is to improve the lives of professional athletes. The second is to provide you with an enhanced spectating experience. We are confident that by working with Major League Baseball, we can come up with an optimal system that will achieve both of these goals and provide you exactly what you have told us that you want.
When we re-launch our website, and re-offer shares of Randy Newsom we will allow you to re-purchase your shares of Randy before anyone else. You will have priority and we thank you for your loyalty.
Please continue to check our website for updates in the coming months. In this transition you will notice significant changes. Our website will have much more functionality from message boards to shareholder certificates and we will be able to provide you with a greater selection of athletes from which to choose.
If you have any questions or comments, please direct them through the contact us page on our site, www.realsportsinvestments.com and we will be sure to answer them. We promise that we will contact you as soon as the next player’s shares become available.
We truly appreciate all the comments and support that we have received. Your enthusiasm has energized us even more to bring this market to fruition. I hope you are as excited about this as we are.
Real Sports Investments, LLC