A company called Fantex is allowing fans to purchase stock in pro athletes and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver, Mohamed Sanu is among their clients -- and is the highest valued stock among available NFL players.
Sanu was one of the first NFL players to have his own player stock via Fantex, which also has stock for 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel. Once a client signs with Fantex, the company then own a 10% equity stake in all future brand income of said athlete. They pay each new signee a one-time fee, and Sanu got $1.56 million for joining the company.
Our own Anthony Cosenza wrote about the story early last year, before Sanu's mini-breakout 2014 campaign began. At that time, it only cost $10 to buy stock in Sanu. His stock has since risen to $13 per share after Sanu posted career-highs in catches (56), yards (790) and touchdowns (5) in 2014.
Sanu recently spoke with Fortune.com about working with Fantex and what it's like to actually be a stock, available for ownership. He also talked about how Fantex has been a good platform to help Sanu increase his brand.
Definitely, Fantex is part of that, because I’m using football as my platform to catapult myself into business and learn more about business. I want to be a successful businessman outside of football. I’ve done being a successful football player, but I’m just learning about how business works. Even doing interviews like this, and talking to other business owners and picking their brain, learning how they established themselves, how they got started… You have to be real gritty with things like that, you need the determination to learn these things.
The best part of the interview was when Sanu was told his stock was the highest of any Fantex player, and he simply replied, "That’s because people are smart."