I just bought a football team...no seriously I'm now a part owner of a football team. But it's not the NFL, it's the FCF. FCF stands for Fan Controlled Football, which is a league that allows the fans to become part of the game. Not only that, but they allow the average Joe to become an owner as well! I like to think of this as real life Madden Franchise Mode.
You may be thinking, AJ, what does this have to do with Investing or Finances in general? Well this is an Alternative Investment. An Alternative Investment is when you invest your money into something other than the stock market. Bitcoin for example, to some, is considered an alternative investment, even though it was created to be a Currency. Gold, Silver, and Real Estate are all Alternative Investments. And investing in Startups like the FCF League is an alternative investment. In this post, not only will I tell you about the FCF League and why I invested into it, but I will also tell you how you can invest in Alternative Investments if you're interested.
What is Fan Controlled Football?
First, what is the FCF League? The FCF is a football league which allows the fans to participate in actual real live football game play. The first official FCF game was played on Feb 13th 2021. There are currently 4 teams in the league, and I'm a Co-Owner of Team Beasts, which is also co-owned by Marshawn Lynch whose nickname is Beastmode! Johnny Manziel, also known as Johnny Football, is the most well known player in the league, playing for Team Zappers! The league is live streamed on Twitch, which is a platform many gamers will be familiar with, as it is a popular way to live stream games you play or really any activity you are involved in and allow your subscribers to participate or watch whatever it is you're doing.
While watching the game, you can also participate by selecting offensive plays for the Team you join. When your team is on offense, you can vote for the next play, and the play with the most votes is what the team will run on the field. It's like a video game with real people! Also, each week you get to draft new players to your team like a weekly fantasy football league, and Franchise Tag a player you would like to remain on your team. So your'e the coach, the GM, and you can also be an owner of the team!
How Do I Become an Owner?
FCF partnered with the startup investment website Republic.co to give you the opportunity to invest in 1 of the available 4 teams. For as little as $150 you can become a part owner of this football league, and select which team you want to own. Full Disclosure, I'm an owner with Team Beasts, so of course I'm rooting for them to win! And because this is an investment, I'm rooting for the league as a whole to be a success.
Who Sponsors this League?
Who else is rooting for the success of this league? A lot of big companies and successful startup investors. I'll start with the companies you may know.
Twitch is the leader in video game streaming, in fact 91% of video game streams are hosted on Twitch. YouTube and Facebook don't even come close. And guess who owns Twitch? Amazon! And guess what Amazon owns? AWS AKA Amazon Web Services. AWS is the cloud infrastructure many companies use, including video streaming services like Netflix. Amazon also owned some streaming rights for the NFL's Thursday Night Football for the past 2 years, and they're working on getting exclusive rights to Thursday Night games. So Amazon is already familiar with how to support millions of live streaming viewers on their platform, so supporting millions of potential viewers via Twitch for FCF likely won't be an issue. Amazon has an incentive for this league to be successful.
Verizon is arguably the leader in mobile services, and 5G...although I'm sure T-Mobile and AT&T want something to say about that! Not only is Verizon a Sponsor and an Investor in the league, but they're also supporting the technology behind the scenes. There's a lot of technology being used to support the experience for this league, including Drone Cameras and other IoT devices, all using Verizon's 5G network! You need a fast network to allow fans to vote for plays from wherever they are, and get that information down to the field where the players are in a short amount of time so that the game can continue to move fast as well. Verizon has an incentive for this league to be successful.
Watson is IBMs Artificial Intelligence platform. If you’ve played Fantasy Football on ESPN then you’re familiar with the insights Watson provides for their fantasy app. IBM is a sponsor of the FCF league, and will help to provide similar insights into the FCF league and their app to help with engagement. When you’re selecting plays, Watson gives you probabilities on whether or not the team can score a touchdown on that play. This is based on information Watson provides, and may even help people call the best play for their team to be successful. However with some of the very creative names they have for plays, that may also drive the play calling!
Progressive, the Insurance company, is also a sponsor. During each game you have the opportunity to vote on a play when you would like to take an extra down, a Progressive Fifth down.
There’s a segment called FCF Protection, where they interview Offensive Lineman who are the Insurance Policy for Quarterbacks.
They also have a segment called Outstanding Coverage of the game, which focuses on great plays from the defense.
Champion is a retail sporting apparel brand, which is owned by Hanes Brands. Champion is the Uniform provider for the FCF League.
There are a few other big name companies like Wendy’s, Gatorade, and a few others listed below who all would love for this league to become a success. Many of these companies are also Publicly traded on the stock market.
There are also some very notable individual investors. NFL Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana, Alexis Ohanian the cofounder and former CEO of Reddit, Dave Finocchio cofounder and former CEO of BleacherReport, Ferran Soriano CEO of the Premier League's Manchester City FC and Major League Soccer New York City FC, Victor Font CEO of Delta Partners and leading candidate to be President of FC Barcelona, and Mark Tluszcz cofounder and CEO of Mangrove Capital and Chairman of Wix.com.
The mixing of sports, gaming, and esports all come together in a current moment where everyone is spending more time online. Gaming has increased as well, as many can see from how hard it is to purchase either the new PS5 or Xbox released at the end of 2020. This is just one more way to mix many of the things people love to do and watch: games and sporting events.
But it’s not all fun and games, they allow you to become an owner of the teams, at least for now! Via the startup investing website Republic, you can become an owner of 1of4 available teams. As part of the 2012 JOBS Act, President Obama signed legislation which would allow Private Companies to raise money from ALL Americans through Equity Crowdfunding. Since 1919 only accredited investors, the wealthiest 2% of Americans, could invest in Private companies. This legislation known as Reg CF became active in 2016, and since then many Equity Crowdfunding sites have appeared to accredited and non-accredited investors a central place to look for and invest in Alternative Investments. Republic being one of the most popular sites I've found so far in this space for non-accredited investors. I’ll do a full review of Republic, as well as other equity crowdfunding sites in the future. Since I know most of my viewers won't fall into the wealthiest 2% of Americans, including myself, I likely won't ever discuss any of the options available to accredited investors only. I will only discuss sites which allow non-accredited investors to invest in alternative investments and startups.
Interested in owning a football team? Or maybe there are other startups like restaurants, games, real estate, and more that you're interested in? Use my Republic link to sign up and select one of the FCF Teams to join, or look into other startups on the platform. My team, Team Beasts already reached its limit on Republic, but the other 3 teams are still available as of this post. Each team had a maximum investment of $265K on Republic, and the other 3 teams were about half way to their maximum last I checked. I'll have links directly to all 4 teams available in the reference section below.
The season has already started, but you don't have to be an owner in order to participate in the league. You can watch and call plays even without being an Owner, becoming an owner just gives you additional privileges. If you would like to watch the games or call plays, I'll have a link directly to the FCF League and Twitch Channel so you can watch the games. Games are played on Saturday's and the draft is every Wednesday. I'll have all of these links available in the reference section at the bottom of this page if you would like more information.
Let us know what you think, not only about the league, but also about Alternative Investing. Do you currently have any assets allocated to alternative investments, whether that's Digital Currencies, Gold, Silver, Real Estate, others? Ever used Republic or a similar website? Let us know down below.
AJ Mobile Money
Husband | Father | YouTuber | Former ATLien
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