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What would you say if we told you that you could start to invest in your favorite sports teams? While still in (relatively) early stages, the Global Sports Financial Exchange (GSFE) is offering investors and sports fans alike an opportunity to put up real cash behind their favorite professional sports franchises.

Instead of being rewarded for predicting the outcomes of specific events and games, GSFE rewards bettors for long-term, strategic thinking when picking teams. Think of the GSFE as the ultimate futures market!

Check out AllSportsMarket.com to get started with the Global Sports Financial Exchange. In this article, we’ll outline how the Global Sports Financial Exchange works, why it’s so unique, and how it’s another exciting example of how enmeshed finance and sports betting are. The boundaries between the two worlds are starting to blur, and that’s a good thing!

Who’s Behind The GFSE?

Unlike some of the other articles in this series, the minds behind Global Sports Financial Exchange aren’t sports bettors deeply entrenched in the world of finance. Instead, Global Sports Financial Exchange was founded by two friends, actor Zack Ward and former NHL superstar Bernie Nicholls.

Actor Zack Ward is perhaps best known for his role playing Scut Farkus, the bully in the 1983 classic A Christmas Story. Bernie Nicholls played 1127 games in the NHL from 1981 to 1999, scoring 1209 points; he was a bonafide superstar.

The two of them used personal capital, combined with deep connections to important individuals in both sports and finance, as the impetus to start the Global Sports Financial Exchange. Before launching the GFSE, they consulted with the likes of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in an effort to gain valuable feedback regarding their exchange.

How Does the GSFE Work?

At its heart, the Global Sports Financial Exchange is a fascinating blend of the fundamentals of the stock market and the principles of futures bets. Ward and Nicholls aren’t big sports bettors, and they’ve made no public statements suggesting that they’ve ever dabbled with any sportsbooks. However, the similarities between investing in a team, and betting on them, aren’t as big as you might think. If you want to learn more about that, read our article comparing the stock market and sports betting.

The fundamental principle behind the GSFE is that bettors “own” a little bit of a sports team; by sinking money into a team’s shares, an investor indeed has a vested interest in a team.

The important principle to keep in mind about the Global Sports Financial Exchange is that it’s not a zero-sum game; you won’t outright win or outright lose any of your bets. Instead, you’ll see growth and decline in the value of the stock you’re holding.

Most often, a team’s win-loss ratio will dictate their short-term stock price. Factors that will affect a team’s stock price are the long-run trades, how strong a team’s draft is, and ownership changes.

In light of any new information, or even hunches, investors can go long or short on whichever teams they feel are poised for success and failure. If you think the Vancouver Canucks are set to shine in the future, you’ll want to buy stock in them while they’re in the basement of the league. The mantra that every investor lives by is buy low, sell high!

Further, if you think a team’s future is overhyped, you have the ability to short its stock.

As with any market, your stocks prices can be affected by many different factors, from a broader collapse of the market to events specifics to the team you’re holding stock in.

On the GSFE, investors can buy, sell, and short shares of whichever team they desire. There are no restrictions in this regard. In essence, investors are trading in stocks of their favorite teams, no different than if they were exchanging shares in Apple. Best of all, while the market is still (relatively) small, you don’t have to pay very big brokers fees.

In fact, the according to Ward the GFSE is built upon ” the exact same structure that was used when the New York Stock Exchange first opened in 1817.” Currently, there are over 614 unique shares available to purchase.

Well, which teams are worth the most? Alas, just like an efficient free market stock exchange, this is dictated by the market fundamentals of supply and demand. Prices are determined on the open market, by consumers. The forces of both supply and demand are free from any form of intervention, be it by Nicholls, Ward, or any other third party. In the Global Sports Financial Exchange, prices are determined by investors and investors only.

Another great feature unique to the GFSE is that every time the team they’re invested in wins, they’ll receive a small dividend.

If you think that anyone can replicate this exchange, think again. Ward and Nicholls have locked down 100s of patents, in over 140 different countries. For now, their sports team stock exchange is safe from infringement. Further, the Global Sports Financial Exchange works closely with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to continue to develop their marketplace. Operating with a framework and wholly unique concept, Ward and Nicholls frequently collaborate with regulatory bodies to perfect their market structure, and to ensure that their investor’s safety and security.

How Big is the Global Sports Financial Exchange?

Even though it’s still in its infancy, the Global Sports Financial Exchange has piqued the interest of investors all over the world. At the present time, they have investors in 81 countries and growing. Their market capitalization (combining both real and learning capital) is over 1.57 Billion USD, and they’ve already paid out over 25 Million USD in dividends to their investors.

Given the possibilities for investors to buy, sell, and short in a free and efficient market, it’s also an extremely liquid market; it has proven very easy to link with buyers and sellers.

Who’s Using the Global Sports Financial Exchange, and for what sports?

Already, the “sharps” of the Global Sports Financial Exchange have emerged. One investor, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims to profit over USD 2,000 a weekend trading sports teams.

Chad Diehl, a Fresno based real estate agent, frequently nets USD 3,000 a weekend betting on basketball.

Some investors on the GSFE prefer to remain within one sport, and others prefer to diversify their portfolios.

However, Ward and Nicholls have aspirations for the GSFE beyond just creating profits for the investors. They want to encourage and promote financial literacy to sports fans everyone, especially youth. This is a huge part of why Ward and Nicholls introduced the “learning capital” section of their exchange – to appeal to those not old enough either invest or bet.

Of course, “learning capital” refers to imagined money (it requires no real capital), but it works within the exchange just as real money would. Founders Ward and Nicholls hope that by getting involved in the exchange, youth will learn many basic market functions and principles by osmosis.

The fundamentals of the economy and the stock market aren’t as ubiquitous among American youth as they once were, and the GFSE hopes to play a part in correcting this. The ebbs and the flows of the market might be boring to young children, but understanding these concepts in relation to their favorite sports would go along way in teaching them how finance works.

Another Exciting Example of the Link Between Sports, Finance, and Betting

The digital revolution is in full swing. Finance and sports betting grow closer together and develop increasingly reciprocal relationships daily. The global sports betting market bigger than ever. All of these factors in conjunction are spawning exciting ideas like the Global Sports Financial Exchange. With any luck, these conditions will foster more and more creative ideas like the Global Sports Financial Exchange. After all, whoever would have thought of trading teams like stocks on a regulated exchange, even 10 years ago?

As the stigma around the linkage between money and sports dissipates, we’re bound to see even more inspired endeavors like the Global Sports Financial Exchange.