Arian Foster shares sold
US football fans glued to TV screens on Sundays will soon have a new way of showing their devotion to the pigskin: buying stocks linked to their favorite players. California-based brokerage house Fantex aims to raise US$10.5 million in an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, according to documents submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to their agreement, Foster will turn over 20 percent of his future earnings related to football, including endorsements and contracts, to benefit his future stockholders. In return, the 27-year-old football star, who calls himself an “entrepreneur” on his personal Web site, could pocket up to US$10 million up front — the bulk of the amount Fantex hopes to raise from selling shares at US$10 a pop. Fantex will profit too — about US$500,000 from the IPO, plus the fees on all the transactions, which are set to start in the coming weeks. The brokerage firm prides itself on being a global pioneer, but notes that “investing” in an athlete this way carries high risks, because his value is variable based on performance and intangible qualities, like image. “This offering is highly speculative and the securities involve a high degree of risk,” the company admits in its 37-page filing with the SEC. The company adds that people should only invest if they “can afford the loss of their entire investment.”
Wozniacki reaches semis
Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark held off Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Luxembourg Open. After both players struggled to hold serve at the start, Wozniacki had the only break of the third set to clinch the win. She will face third-seeded Sabine Lisicki, who beat Karin Knapp of Italy 7-5, 4-6, 6-0. On a day full of three-setters, Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland beat second-seeded Sloane Stephens of the US 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 and faces Annika Beck of Germany in the semi-finals. Beck came through the longest match of the tournament, defeating Katarzyna Piter of Poland, 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/5) in 3 hours, 12 minutes.
Paire reaches semi-finals
French wild-card entry Benoit Paire beat second-seeded Milos Raonic 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Stockholm Open. Paire will face seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday after the Bulgarian beat left-handed Kenny de Schepper of France 6-4, 6-2. Top-seeded David Ferrer of Spain also advanced when his quarter-final opponent, countryman Fernando Verdasco, pulled out because of an abdominal injury. Ferrer next faces fifth-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, who had more of a struggle as he advanced with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in little over 2 hours.
Nice beat Marseille 1-0
Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina shrugged off his World Cup jet lag to star in OGC Nice’s 1-0 Ligue 1 win over Cote d’Azur rivals Olympique de Marseille on Friday. Ospina, who played in Tuesday’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Paraguay in Asuncion, pulled off a string of fine saves as Nice moved into fifth place in the table, four points off the lead held by AS Monaco. Marseille remain fourth, ahead of Nice on goal-difference. Another South American, Argentine striker Dario Cvitanich, grabbed the only goal of the game in the 40th minute.