Nasdaq to provide tech for Football Index virtual stock market
Nasdaq will be supplying the technology and lending its brand to the UK-based footballer stock market and sports betting platform Football Index.
The New York-based stock exchange, best known as the market of choice for leading tech stocks, announced a deal on 23 July to provide Football Index with tools similar to those available to traders on the Nasdaq exchange. However, rather than traders looking to business performance and projections to determine the value of shares, the platform takes into account the on-field performance of leading players such as Lionel Messi, Neymar, or the soon to be most-expensive-defender in history Harry Maguire.
FI offers most the traditional aspects of a financial market, but the company is keen to stress that users do not trade financial instruments or shares, but instead they exchange “futures” – three year bets on the performance of football players as determined by the company’s own football new aggregator called FootballBuzz. This model means that the site is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission like the best rated UK casinos and sports betting platforms rather than the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). However, the company has left open the possibility that future products may be more traditional financial instruments that would be regulated by the FCA.
The four-year-old Football Index manages to straddle the two worlds of finance and sports, and has grown enough in recent years to become the official shirt sponsor of one of the UK’s oldest football clubs, Nottingham Forest FC as well as the kit sponsor of London-based Fulham FC – competing for kit space with some of the best online sports betting firms around the world. If they can make their platform as lucrative as those other sponsors then we may start seeing the brand of Premier League shirts in upcoming seasons.
This deal is not the first time Nasdaq has provided it technology to other exchanges, but it does appear to be the first time the company has lent its brand and tech to a sports-related marketplace, traditionally preferring to provide technological support financial exchanges and cryptocurrency marketplaces. This is, however, the first time the US trading giant has lent its name and branding to the platform, a licensing agreement that the firm may find lucrative in the future as the company’s history means people immediately feel secure using its tools and platforms.
Photograph courtesy of Paul / Flickr