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from Felix Salmon:

Bad investment of the day, Fantex edition

Now that the ban on general solicitation is over, all manner of weird companies are emerging from the nether regions of the internet, trying to persuade people to part with their money in return for a nominal stake in some unlikely investment. One of the glossiest of these new companies is Fantex, which just filed a prospectus for its first athlete-IPO.

Fantex couldn't have hoped for better press: the NYT covered the story in its Venture Capital section, under the headline "If You Like a Star Athlete, Now You Can Buy a Share". ESPN, meanwhile, went with "Fantex to offer Arian Foster stock", while USA Today opted for "Want to invest in NFL's Arian Foster? Here's a chance". Which just says to me that none of the journalists actually read and understood Fantex's S-1.

The idea here is not a new one; indeed, Michael Lewis wrote about it in depth as long ago as April 2007.

When financial historians look back and ask why it took Wall Street so long to create the first public stock market that trades in professional athletes, they will see ours as an age of creative ferment. They’ll see a new, extremely well-financed company in Silicon Valley that, for the moment, sells itself as a fantasy sports site but aims to become, as its co-founder Mike Kerns puts it, “the first real stock market in athletes.” And they’ll find, in the bowels of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, an application from a cryptic entity called A.S.A. Sports Exchange containing a description of a design for just such a market: The athlete would sell 20 percent of all future on-field or on-court earnings to a trust, which would, in turn, sell securities to the public.

from Breakingviews:

Li Ning hits gruelling part of TPG fitness plan

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By John Foley

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Most fitness plans come down to two things: burning fat and building muscle. Li Ning has managed the first, but not yet the second. In the first half of 2013 the Chinese sportswear brand closed stores and shed inventory, narrowing its operating losses to 39 million yuan ($6.3 million). But Li Ning has yet to prove it can follow this up with sustainable top-line growth.

from The Human Impact:

Could there be another female F1 driver? Susie Wolff thinks so

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When Susie Wolff first got behind the wheel of a race cart as a young girl, the experience didn’t give her the thrills.

"My first time out on the race track, I remember carts flying past me - much quicker - and this little boy - really aggressive - hitting me as I was going past," she said.

from Breakingviews:

Bayern’s profits shine in fickle football economy

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

In the mid 60s, the executives of a minuscule football club from southern Germany, Bayern Munich, travelled north to Cologne to visit the country’s most successful team. They wanted to learn how to run a professional sports club. And learn they did. Bayern has dominated the Bundesliga, Germany’s professional league, ever since.

from Photographers' Blog:

When baseballs attack

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By Darryl Webb

"I was really glad I saw it coming."

I know that statement above sounds a little confusing so allow me to explain.

I don't know how many professional sporting events I've covered in the last 20 years. Let's just say it's been a lot and in all that time I've never been hurt. There have been a couple of close calls here and there, but nothing serious until earlier this week.

Had I not seen this sphere coming toward me at a blistering speed, the end result could have been a lot worse. I'm not saying it would have been as bad as Sports Illustrated's photographer John Iacono, who was hit by an overthrown ball in 1999, shattering his jaw which resulted in two titanium plates, some wire mess and something like 20 screws. But it definitely would have been worse than a headache, a bump on the head and two hours spent at Urgent Care.

from The Human Impact:

A refugee, an amputee, a marathon runner: Abdifatah’s story

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Abdifatah Dhuhulow takes a break from some training in London’s Hyde Park, February 17, 2012. ALERTNET/Shanshan Chen

For someone who struggles to run a few metres before collapsing with a stitch, I'm constantly amazed by the skill of long-distance runners, and used to think crossing the finishing line of a marathon was the height of physical achievement -- until meeting Abdifatah Dhuhulow.

from Breakingviews:

BRICs raise relegation risk for European soccer

By Ian Campbell
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Global wealth is shifting south and east and the world’s best soccer players appear to be following. Nicolas Anelka is on his way from Chelsea, the top-flight London club, to Shanghai. Samuel Eto’o, meanwhile, is heading to the Russian North Caucasus region, having starred for Internazionale of Milan and a Barcelona side which is one of the finest to grace the stadiums of western Europe.

from Breakingviews:

Don’t boo U.S. football’s zero-coupon perpetuals

By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The Green Bay Packers are on some kind of streak. The venerable U.S. football team has followed up last year’s Super Bowl victory with 12 consecutive wins to start this season. It is now parlaying the local exuberance into an unconventional investment achievement.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Signs that you made a dumb career move

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Blog Guy, your career advice is very useful, especially your tips on possible indicators that we may have taken the wrong career path at some point. Thanks to your last one, my brother got out of the bee-wearing profession.

Thanks. Here's a tip that a surprising number of young urban professionals tend to overlook, what with their busy schedules.

from Photographers' Blog:

Boxing their own worst enemy

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On some of my first trips around Sao Paulo after moving here, I caught glimpses of life under the city’s many highway viaducts, whether it was of people storing recyclable waste or even living under the bridges. I refer to my roaming excursions in this city as “trips,” because this massive city of nearly 20 million inhabitants is a world in itself.

The shadow of aspiring boxer Laercio is projected on a wall as he uses a discarded truck axle for weight training at a gymnasium under the Alcantara Machado viaduct in the Mooca neighborhood of Sao Paulo, March 28, 2011. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

One day, as I gradually widened my geographic range and knowledge of my new city, I spotted people practicing sports under one bridge. It was a brief view but long enough to register in my mind. So when I read soon after about a boxing school under a viaduct and went to search it out, I realized immediately it was the same one I had spotted that day.

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