Thanks to two entrepreneurs, fans now have a new way to invest time and money in their favorite teams.
Actor Zack Ward and ex-hockey pro Bernie Nicholls have teamed up to push a platform that allows fans to invest in pro teams. Named the Global Sports Financial Exchange (GSFE), the endeavor is being billed as the world's first sports stock market.
However, it's not betting, according to Nicholls and Ward — also known for playing bully Scut Farkus in the classic 1983 movie, "A Christmas Story." Nicholls, using his hockey connections, took a meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly to shop the idea.
"I remember the first thing Mr. Bettman saying to me was, 'It's not gambling is it?' I said, 'No Gary, it's not gambling,'" Nicholls recalled in a CNBC "Squawk Box" interview last week.
According to the proprietors, the exchange operates on a similar principle that drives stock market investments. "If you buy shares tonight in the Rangers and they play and lose, you don't lose your investment," said Nicholls, a former New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings center who now serves as a spokesperson for the exchange.
"You get paid dividends on every win. So if your team does well, you do well," he added.