Beginning next week, you can buy a share of Vernon Davis.
A company called Fantex Brokerage Services says it will offer 421,000 shares of the San Francisco 49ers tight end at a price of $10 a share. It will be the first time that shares will be sold that are connected to an athlete's financial future.
"This is a historic milestone, not just in sports but in finance as well," said Fantex CEO Buck French.
In October, Fantex agreed to buy a 10 percent interest in Davis' future earnings for $4 million. The company collects that percentage from Davis' playing contract, endorsements and any other money he makes, including post-career income like a broadcasting deal.
Technically, fans don't buy shares of Davis. They're buying shares of Fantex Inc., so as the company collects more money, the stock should rise. The stock trades on Fantex's website platform, as opposed to the standard exchanges like the NYSE and the NASDAQ. Fantex announced Monday that those who want to buy shares must place a reservation and fund their accounts before the initial public offering takes place on April 28.
French said that Davis has $10.2 million left on the final two years of his contract with the 49ers. If he finishes that deal, he would have played 10 years in the NFL.
"We looked at the careers of every tight end from 1990 to 2012, and based on that, adding in those who made at least one Pro Bowl, we estimated that Vernon would have a 14-year career," French said.
Injury is said to be the greatest risk to the shares of stock.
Although Fantex is helping to create off-the-field opportunities for Davis, French said the company will not have a say in where the tight end plays after his contract with the 49ers ends.
Last season, Davis tied his career high of 13 touchdowns, which he also achieved in 2009. His average of 16.3 yards per catch last season also tied his career high (2010).