CFC Soccer Fans Can Now Own A Part of the Team
(CFC release) Jan 17, 2019- Chattanooga Football Club today announced a first-ever local public ownership initiative, giving fans the opportunity to own shares in the club. This is the first American sports team to make this available since securities reform laws passed in late 2016 allowed such investments. Proceeds from the limited public offering of 8000 shares will support the club’s move from amateur to professional players and year-round operations.
The event today was attended by Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke along with other community leaders. Also in attendance were representatives of the Chattanooga FC Foundation, Chattanooga FC Academy, and the Chattahooligans, the local soccer club supporters’ group.
“Since our first year, our expectation has been to offer our fans shares in the club, so we are very excited to make this a reality,” said Chattanooga Football Club board member Krue Brock. “For ten years, we’ve been Chattanooga’s team, and being able to offer fans shares so that they have a voice in the direction of the club is perfectly aligned with who we are.”
Brock continued “If you think Green Bay Packers, you understand the path we are on.”
The club hopes this first step will serve as a model for other clubs across the country. “The American sports landscape is dominated by a relatively small group of very wealthy owners,” said Tim Kelly, club chairman. “We feel this could be a real game-changer to connect communities across the country with teams they love in a deeper and more meaningful way.“
Kelly continued,“Teams leave cities because their objective is to maximize return, not to serve the community. By offering our fans ownership and re-organizing as a public benefit corporation, we are permanently committed to Chattanooga. We love this city and will never leave it.”
With the passage of the Jobs Acts in late 2016, Section CF crowdfunding allows non-accredited investors to make investments in corporations from a simple, online platform. Chattanooga Football Club will be the first sports team to offer public shares, and one of only a handful of American sports teams to ever offer public ownership.
While the practice is common in the rest of the world- even mandatory in the German Bundesliga- it is rare in the US. “Chattanooga Football Club is at the forefront of American sports by offering its fans the opportunity to be owners of the team they love and support,” said Kim Arnone, Vice President of Cutting Edge Capital, a strategic capital consulting company that advised on the process. “Capital raises, like Regulation CF and direct public offerings, are a perfect fit with community-focused and fan-based enterprises like Chattanooga Football Club,” she said. “Fan and stakeholder investment in beloved local institutions forges connections that make communities stronger and more vibrant and that is what the club should achieve with this offering.”