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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For nearly a century, investing was driven exclusively by ticker symbols. Now, there's more room for passion-aligned investing — and sports is at the forefront of that movement.

The state of play: Sports fans have always followed the players and teams they love. Now, there are more ways than ever to actually invest in them.

  • Whether it's through sports betting, fantasy sports, or buying and selling trading cards and memorabilia, it's never been easier to bet on an athlete or team's future success.
  • With so much access to information, fans and collectors can form hypotheses and leverage their expertise by placing a "wager" on what they believe will happen.

For example...

  • Short-term: If you think Ja Morant, Jonas Valančiūnas and the Grizzlies will beat the Nuggets tonight, how do you invest in them? By placing a bet on the game.
  • Medium-term: If you think Valančiūnas will have a huge second half of the season, how do you invest in him? By picking him up off the waiver wire in your NBA fantasy league.
  • Long-term: If you think Morant is going to be a future Hall of Famer, how do you invest in him? By buying his rookie card (or fractional shares of it).

What they're saying: "Loving the things you invest your time and money into are so much more important now, and beloved athletes unlock that passion," says Rob Petrozzo, co-founder of Rally, a platform for buying and selling equity shares in collectibles.

  • "The old adage that '10–20% of your portfolio should include alternatives' has always meant real estate, precious metals and art."
  • "As assets like trading cards continue to dominate the conversation, I can envision 'sports' becoming a part of a lot of portfolios as opposed to just being part of an individual's collection or fond memories."

Consider this ... One Rally user I spoke with shared that he has a folder on his phone titled "Investing/Betting." Inside of that folder:

  • Robinhood (stocks)
  • Coinbase (crypto)
  • DraftKings (sports betting)
  • Rally (collectibles)

Go deeper: Read the full Axios Sports special report on the rise of sports fandom investing

Go deeper

Robinhood is a crypto trading platform

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Retail traders love trading cryptocurrency.

Why it matters: Robinhood gained popularity as a brokerage app offering commission-free stock trading. But the company's recent performance suggests the current crop of retail traders are more interested in cryptocurrencies than stocks.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 2 far-right "America First" activists

The House panel investigating the Capitol riot, from left; Reps. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Jamie Raskin on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot issued subpoenas Wednesday for far-right leaders Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, who allegedly encouraged followers to go to D.C. and challenge the 2020 election results.

Why it matters: The action underscores the panel's increasing focus on rallies held ahead of the Capitol attack and how extremists were drawn to former President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, per the New York Times.

Democrats fail to change Senate rules to pass voting rights bill

Senate Majority Leader during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats failed Wednesday night to change Senate filibuster rules to pass the voting rights bill, with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voting with Republicans.

The big picture: The failed effort came after Senate Republicans blocked the voting rights measure from coming to a final vote earlier Wednesday.

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