Reputations are often described as “priceless” – particularly among those who’ve earned a stellar one. But the latestFantex IPO of Vernon Davis suggests that reputation can be quantified, and even monetized.
If you haven’t been following, Vernon Davis is the world’s first publicly traded NFL player – offering fans an opportunity to “buy in” to his future earnings – which are presumably one part athletic performance (and contract payments) + one part endorsements (presumably the biggest upside is here). For sure, securing top dollar endorsement deals is about performance and exposure – and a trip to the Super Bowl sure wouldn’t hurt. But nothing kills endorsements quicker than a reputational problem. Ask Oscar Pistorius.
Arguments are raging about whether or not “buying in” to an athlete is a clever new investment opportunity, or ascheme to bilk fans of their hard earned money. As to the question of whether his personal reputation will impact the value of that investment – the answer is pretty clear.
This notion takes the practice of personal reputation management – whether for CEOs, athletes, musicians or elected officials to a whole new level. And goodwill banks will be more literally – banks, measured in dollars and cents, giving the notion of Return on Reputation a whole new meaning. And at least for today, Vernon’s stock is up.