How does a pro fishing tour rookie maintain a full time job and still finance his competitive expenses?
It’s easier said than done, but James Biggs found a way that’s innovative and unique, if not a little out-of-the-box.
The Texas angler had early success in the 2013 FLW Tour, but had a goal for the season: to qualify for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup on Louisiana’s Red River.
One problem: his gig as a firefighter and paramedic in the Dallas-Fort Worth area wouldn’t quite withhold the financial demands of travelling, fuel and entry fees.
“I felt like if I gave myself the opportunity and was somehow able to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup, a top 10 was obtainable for me on that fishery based on my track record on the Red River during the summer months,” Biggs told BassZone.com in an interview.
Biggs realized the best solution would involve investors who could purchase “shares” of his expenses, and be reimbursed through his winnings. People interested in investing in James Biggs could have a new reason to watch and cheer; they now had the chance to make some money right alongside the angler.
He calculated what it would take to fund his 6 remaining stops on the tour, which turned out to be around $38,000. He then offered up shares for $100, and searched for investors to grab the 380 shares that were now on the table.
Fishing friends who knew his skill set and determination made up a large portion of shareholders, along with others who wanted to see him succeed (and possibly claim some of the winnings).
After each tour stop, Biggs sent a report to investors with his results, amount earned, and amount they would receive in return. The reports were accompanied by checks that Biggs wrote to reward the shareholders for investing in him.
“The selling point was the fact that after I covered my $38,000 in expenses, I would split my winnings 50/50 with my investors. They were banking on the fact that I would make the Forrest Wood Cup, have a high finish, and then split the money with them,” he explained to BassZone.com.
With the stock market what it is, investing in James Biggs didn’t seem like that crazy of an idea for some.
This isn’t a completely unheard of proposition, as several professional athletes including Arian Foster of the Houston Texans have connected with Fantex brokerage services to initiate public offerings on their future earnings.
All said, Biggs earned $36,200, nearly breaking even with enough to repay his investors.
“After the year was over, almost all of them told me that it was one of them most enjoyable investment[s] that they had ever made,” Biggs said.
Though his primary goal of the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup wasn’t reached, Biggs hasn’t given up completely. He doesn’t plan to fish the tour next year, but has qualified for the TBF National Championship in April on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake with the chance of earning a spot in the 2014 All-American and 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.
Biggs’s story is certainly unique, and his success hasn’t ended yet. Who knows, you could very well have a chance to help him or another outdoorsman accomplish their goals as an investor, and reap the rewards alongside them.
Would you have considered investing in James Biggs, or any other professional athlete? Why or why not?
Featured image via FLWOutdoors.com