March 08, 2008

SportsFilter Team Ownership Project: I recently became an owner of AFC Wimbledon, a British football club begun by fans that's managed by a fans' trust with publicly sold shares. I'd like to see SportsFilter become an owner of several publicly traded sports franchises (or even individual athletes such as golfers and baseball prospects), buying at least one share a month and using site votes to exercise our voting rights when issues come up to a vote. What do you think of the idea?

posted by rcade to feature requests at 09:11 AM - 49 comments

Sounds absolutely awesome, but you know how these things go with forums. It will require some kind of regular posts here or a small site/ blog that's easy to find and regularly updated. The trick would be achieving a critical mass early. What would individual costs look like? And when do I get to yell at naked men in a locker room again?

posted by yerfatma at 11:07 AM on March 08

Sounds great. I proposed something similar last summer. Let me know what's involved.

posted by scully at 12:10 PM on March 08

Sounds like a great idea.

posted by trox at 12:31 PM on March 08

The first thing we need are franchises/athletes that sell shares, preferably with a per-share cost of under $75 so we can get in as cheaply as we like. A share of AFC Wimbledon cost me around $55 U.S., and I immediately qualified to vote. I get proposals in the form of emailed PDFs. I envision this as a feature of the Locker Room, with a place to store documents to review and polling.

posted by rcade at 12:51 PM on March 08

Sounds good, rcade. I'd like to be involved as well.

posted by BoKnows at 12:59 PM on March 08

One question is how 'SportsFilter' can own anything. I think if one of the P's is the owner of record we will all sufficiently trust that our money goes where it says on the label. I'm in the hiz-ouse with the plan.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:53 PM on March 08

I'm in, as long as we don't buy Derby County. I cite my conflict of interest, as well as an insane investment decision. Loyalty is one thing, but business is business.

posted by owlhouse at 03:15 PM on March 08

Sounds very interesting where do I get more details on the Policies/Procedures of being part of an ownership group.

posted by Folkways at 06:22 PM on March 08

Here's the basics as I envision it: 1. SportsFilter buys the shares -- one a month paid for by the admins out of our ad revenue, plus more shares if users donate towards that purpose. 2. Whenever our shares require us to vote, SportsFilter members vote here to decide what to do. 3. If we're offered deals to sell our shares, or users want us to sell something and own something else, that's also brought to a vote. If all decision-making on the shares is done here with votes, we'd be collective owners even if for legal purposes they couldn't be bought by SportsFilter.Com. I have a friend who's a lawyer, a casual reader here *and* an owner of Sheffield Wednesday. He could help if there are any legal obstacles.

posted by rcade at 07:58 PM on March 08

I like it. Buy, buy, buy.

posted by 86 at 08:04 PM on March 08

I am in! Damn this sounds like fun.

posted by hawkguy at 08:27 AM on March 09

Could be interesting

posted by jerseygirl at 09:43 AM on March 09

The Brisbane Broncos are publicly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Anyone familiar with this team?

posted by rcade at 08:03 AM on March 10

I was not in a position to do this when it last came up, but if the door is open, I'm totally in now.

posted by chicobangs at 12:07 PM on March 10

Anyone familiar with this team? Not me. But I'm still interested. How about anyone named...hmm, Owlhouse?

posted by BoKnows at 12:28 PM on March 10

Sounds like fun...

posted by yzelda4045 at 03:46 PM on March 10

Dudes, my advice is don't buy the Brisbane Broncos. Even though I have no idea if the shares are a good investment - that's not how we roll here, is it? Brisbane are a big club, sort of comparable to Man United, the Yankees or the Cowboys. And the way the NRL organises franchises, we wouldn't have much say in the running of the club or the team (if at all). I would prefer we went with a community ownership arrangement. Also, I'm the only regular here from Australia, so I would have to go to all the shareholders' meetings, right? That's a 12 hour drive.

posted by owlhouse at 04:29 PM on March 10

Also, I'm the only regular here from Australia, so I would have to go to all the shareholders' meetings, right? That's a 12 hour drive. Can't you just go to a dealer and test drive a car there and back? I heard that the Australian Police don't mind much.

posted by BoKnows at 04:50 PM on March 10

Owlhouse: I'm open to alternatives, but there aren't a large number of franchises that sell public voting stock. The Broncos are the only one on the Australian exchange, for instance. Part of this project is to help popularize the concept of fan ownership by rewarding franchises that do it. We'd see exactly what we get to do as fan owners and see whether it's worthwhile. (And, should mention it as well, whether it makes money.) It would be cool if you did go as our rep, but I'm guessing they allow proxy voting.

posted by rcade at 04:57 PM on March 10

Can't you just go to a dealer and test drive a car there and back? Can you blame the guy? That's where Holdens come from. Also, owlhouse, if this does work out, we're going to have to address your committment. I've noticed a lot of people from your neck of the woods keep odd hours and aren't up first thing in the morning Eastern Daylight Time.

posted by yerfatma at 05:03 PM on March 10

This sounds pretty cool. Are there any minor league baseball teams that do this? How 'bout some podunk hockey team up dere around the Hudson Bay?

posted by NoMich at 05:17 PM on March 10

Wikipedia has a list of public sports franchises/leagues.

posted by rcade at 05:55 PM on March 10

I've noticed a lot of people from your neck of the woods keep odd hours and aren't up first thing in the morning Eastern Daylight Time. That's because we're all busy contributing to the quality of North American sports discussion websites.

posted by owlhouse at 06:48 PM on March 10

Preston North End FC certainly has the history behind it. I like history.

posted by NoMich at 07:09 PM on March 10

Part of my family comes from Preston. My Dad was born there. I like Preston, too. But someone closer can go to the AGMs.

posted by owlhouse at 07:33 PM on March 10

See what I'm saying? No initiative.

posted by yerfatma at 07:05 AM on March 11

Of the clubs listed on the wiki, PNE is the most appealing to me so far. Although, I believe, Sheffield United are the side Michael Palin supports... but they have dropped fast over the last couple seasons. So I still prefer PSE.

posted by scully at 07:08 AM on March 11

Here's a financial page for shares in Preston. Assuming that the prices are in pounds, one share currently costs $275.83. Right now, Wimbledon, Brisbane and Preston are the three candidates to be the first team we buy into. Anyone have any others to suggest before I code up a survey tool and hold a vote?

posted by rcade at 08:50 AM on March 11

Also, does anyone know the rules about owning more than one British football club? My friend mentioned something about a prohibition on owning two competing clubs.

posted by rcade at 08:51 AM on March 11

I would like to be able to visit "my" team at some point, so if there's still Wimbledon shares, that'd be my first choice. (Preston is quite... intriguing, though.) (I don't see a trip to Brisbane in the next year or two. Younever know, but, well, yeah.)

posted by chicobangs at 09:32 AM on March 11

I'd definitely be down with Preston (and Wimbledon). I don't know anything about Brisbane though.

posted by trox at 11:56 AM on March 11

A little OT: We have a long-standing sponsorship of an expedition to the South Pole on foot. Just about two years ago, I paid $100 for mile 27 (of 1800!) of the expedition in SpoFi's name but it's been postponed a couple of times. I'm not disparaging the expeditioner (who is a SpoFi member) but there are risks (ok, in this case, deferred satisfaction) to this sponsorship/ownership thing. Note: We were all offered our money back when the postponements were announced but I elected to stay on. The expedition is on track to launch in October this year. And speaking of getting back on track, I'm all for owning a team or player. Sounds like fun.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:17 PM on March 11

Ever given thought to sponsoring a radio segment? Like say, Rome's unreadable text of the day? "Sportsfilter.com, where this kind of crap isn't tolerated."

posted by apoch at 02:00 PM on March 11

Juventus F.C. is a publicly traded company but I don't how plausible buying shares is. Also my Scottish blood demands that I point out Celtic F.C. and those dirty Protestant bastards The Rangers are also available.

posted by HATER 187 at 02:10 PM on March 11

Also, does anyone know the rules about owning more than one British football club? My friend mentioned something about a prohibition on owning two competing clubs. I don't know if a couple of shares, well short of a controlling stake, actually constitutes a breach of the Trade Practices Act or whatever it is. But it does remind me of Derby versus Oxford in the early 90s - the Rams fans used to sing 'We hate Maxwell more than you'.

posted by owlhouse at 03:02 PM on March 11

We should buy equal shares in both Celtic and Rangers, and call our consortium Spofi Self-Loathing LLC.

posted by chicobangs at 03:36 PM on March 11

That way, next Spofi Mix time, anyone who was late could punch themselves in the face.

posted by yerfatma at 03:55 PM on March 11

We should buy equal shares in both Celtic and Rangers, and call our consortium Spofi Self-Loathing LLC Well, even the Pope said last week that Martin Luther wasn't all that bad... Alternative names for the consortium: - "fRanTic" - "We Couldn't Get Shares In Partick Thistle", or - "Just Kill Everybody"

posted by owlhouse at 04:54 PM on March 11

Possible variation on that last one: "Kill 'Em All and Let Your Version of God Sort It Out"

posted by yerfatma at 05:02 PM on March 11

I say the more teams and players we own the better. Keeps things active, you know. We can assign any interested and trusted SpoFites to represent us in tracking news for that team and bring up any voting issues. Conversely, rcade could just post the issue up for vote here (set up an online poll with a deadline) and then check off the actual vote based on what happens online. Fun.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:51 PM on March 11

SpoFi: All your teams are belong to us.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:52 PM on March 11

wc02 wants us to diversify our sport portfolio :)

posted by scully at 06:15 AM on March 12

Will we get to smack the shit out of Ronaldo every once in a while? Ownership should have some perks.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:26 AM on March 12

Cisse! Lewis Hamilton is rumoured to be selling shares in himself shortly. Cleveland Indians reliever Randy Newsom is selling shares in his future for $20 a pop.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:05 AM on March 12

Here's a story on Randy Newsom. Apparently there are also pro bowlers on the market.

posted by rcade at 07:29 AM on March 12

This will be fun!

posted by billsaysthis at 03:30 PM on March 12

terrapin said: wc02 wants us to diversify our sport portfolio :) Yes. In fact, I am seeding the beginnings of a large global sports conglomerate, SpoFiMegaloCorp. We will be a collective Abramovich. The Sports Borg. We will send us up the bomb. Bwahahahahahahaha.

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:51 PM on March 12

This would be awesome! Definately count me in for some extra money if we do that too!

posted by jojomfd1 at 10:04 AM on March 15

Anything going forward with this rcade?

posted by BoKnows at 01:04 AM on March 26

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