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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

What we know about the victims of the Indianapolis mass shooting

Officials load a body into a vehicle at the site of the mass shooting in Indianapolis. Photo:

Eight people who were killed along with several others who were injured in a Thursday evening shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis have been identified by local law enforcement.

The big picture: The Sikh Coalition said at least four of the eight victims were members of the Indianapolis Sikh community.

Pompeo, wife misused State Dept. resources, federal watchdog finds

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The State Department's independent watchdog found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules when he and his wife asked department employees to perform personal tasks on more than 100 occasions, including picking up their dog and making private dinner reservations.

Why it matters: The report comes as Pompeo pours money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run.

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