An article in today’s Arizona Republic refreshed my memory about a cool start-up I heard about last year that hosts an online exchange of futures-like contracts for major sporting events.
The site, yoonew.com, allows sports fans to purchase a contract associated with a specific team that translates into a ticket to a championship such as the Super Bowl or Final Four if that team reaches the game.
Right now, for example, die-hard Miami Dolphins fans who believe their team will rebound from a disastrous 1-15 season to reach next year’s Super Bowl can purchase a contract for a ticket to next year’s big game for as little as $34. If the Dolphins do shock the world and reach the championship game, that fan who paid $34 for a contract will get a ticket to the game for that price. Nothing less, nothing more. If the Dolphins go 5-11, though, and don’t reach Super Bowl XLIII (I’ll go out on a limb and say this is likely), the fan loses the money.
The company then uses the funds from the losing investors to go out and purchase tickets from third-party resellers to provide to the winning investors. The company says it has never failed to deliver a ticket to a winning investor.
The incentive for risk-taking fans is clear. Tickets to the Super Bowl sold at face-value are incredibly hard to come by, and even if you find one, you are likely going to have to dish out at least $500. On the other hand, midway through the NFL season, contracts on yoonew.com for the Giants reaching the Super Bowl were trading for less than $100. Fans who were smart (or lucky) enough to purchase contracts then find themselves in a win-win situation — watch your team at a fraction of the face-value price or resell your tickets for thousands of dollars and take in a giant profit.
The future seems bright for yoonew. As long as they always come through with the tickets.