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Soccer - Crowdfunding has the potential to touch more than just startups


The focus and attention generated by equity crowdfunding has fallen squarely on the impact it will have on startup and small business financing. No doubt, the financing landscape for entrepreneurs will change dramatically and thats what we are focused on here at SeedInvest. But when we look at the entire landscape, we see incredible opportunity for crowdfunding to impact a lot more aspects of our society.

Not only will crowdfunding enable individuals to invest in local restaurants or tech startups, but also become a medium through which individuals will be able to connect with the things they are truly passionate about. Here are two examples:

Entertainment & Media Content

At the recent All Things Digital D10 Conference, Ari Emanuel (co-head of William Morris talent agency and the inspiration for the Ari Gold character from HBO’s The Entourage) spoke about how crowdfunding could revolutionize the way our favorite TV shows or movies get produced. Using the example of the cult hit Friday Night Lights, Ari spoke about leveraging the show’s 1.5 million Facebook fans and raising the capital necessary to produce the content. Here’s the link to the video (starts at mark 0:27:37).


This week, Manchester United, the famed English soccer team, announced the details of its IPO. The team is selling a 10% stake on the New York Stock Exchange. This is not the first example of a sports team tapping into its fan base to raise capital. Four years ago, Ebbsfleet United Football Club was bought by more than 25,000 fans each investing only £35 through a website the team set up. Now the fans, or its “members”, own the club.

We also see an exciting opportunity for crowdfunding to impact individual sports. In sports such as tennis, golf, and surfing – where professional athletes depend heavily on sponsors to finance travel and living expenses – athletes could potentially crowdfund sponsorships from their fans, friends and family, all of whom could receive financial returns in addition to emotional returns.

These are but two of the many examples where we see crowdfunding’s potential to disrupt. Crowdfunding is modernizing our financial system and creating a more efficient means to access capital for many constituencies. We’re excited about what the future holds and working hard to make it happen.


This post was written by SeedInvest on August 2, 2012

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