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This is huge news! Yesterday, Horizon announced that they have partnered with former NFL executives and players Ryan McNeil, Ray Farmer, and Garrick Jones to launch Global Fan Exchange “GFX,” a sports platform that will allow fans to invest and ultimately trade shares tied to a portion of athletes and teams’ income streams.

GFX is not another fantasy sports app. With the GFX app, fans will have the opportunity to own actual equity stakes in the future of their favorite professional athletes. GFX’s end-to-end funding and fan engagement solution is built and we’re actively recruiting U.S. and international athletes to offer their branded securities to all eligible fans, 18 or over.

How it works:

Professional athletes enter the GFX marketplace for an alternative financing solution, social impact initiative support, and fan engagement. Leveraging crowdfunding, fans will be able to participate in the athletes’ primary offerings and purchase shares tied to a portion of athletes and teams’ income streams. Using the GFX app, fans will be able receive exclusive messages, videos, news, and other exciting fan-engagement opportunities. Following a successful offering, athletes receive funds immediately and fans are eligible to receive dollar dividends based solely on athletic performance.

After any required holding period, the GFX app will enable fans (18 or over) to buy and sell their athlete’s securities with other fans in real time using the anticipated regulated trading platform powered by Horizon. At this time, GFX’s domestic secondary trading venue is not yet approved by U.S. regulators, however, they believe a Horizon-powered international regulated trading exchange will be able to launch shortly.

Fans will be able to engage with athletes, manage their portfolio, and trade shares tied to the players’ athletic performance all from the user-friendly smartphone app.

The future of sports trading and fan engagement

Technology has completely transformed the way fans experience sports. Social media, fantasy sports, live streams, forums, in-game betting, and more have taken the sports viewing experience out of the stadium and into the hands of fans.

Today, these surrounding forces have become permanent introductions to the sports ecosystem. The modern-day sports fan expects and demands more ways to personally engage with athletes and teams. Last year, there were an estimated 45.9 million fantasy sports fans!

“The sports industry is evolving fast and the demand for new ways to engage with teams and athletes is being further expedited by the pandemic,” says Horizon President and 29-year Wall Street veteran Mark Elenowitz.

This puts pressure on sports organizations, teams, athletes, and related companies to continue to innovate when it comes to financing and delivering enhanced fan engagement solutions.

We at the World Token Market and Blockchain Trust Group believe GFX is a timely addition to the sports industry. While we’ve already seen other entities begin to play around with the idea of creating investment vehicles around sports, we believe the GFX approach has the ability to truly change the game. Here are GFX CEO Ryan McNeil’s thoughts:

“Most of my entrepreneurial career has been focused on supporting athletes in some form or fashion. GFX is the new modern and updated version of allowing athletes the ability to control their financial well-being by offering an innovative alternative to high-interest loans all while building a loyal group of brand ambassadors who have a vested interest throughout their professional careers.”

Unlike other companies attempting to securitize athletes’ contracts, the GFX platform and coupled app is already built. Further, GFX leverages a unique team of JOBS Act pioneers, proven software engineers, and established sports executives to fine tune the platform from all angles.

“We believe that GFX offers an exciting glimpse into the future of fan-focused sports technology,” says Horizon CEO Brian Collins. “We believe that our securities expertise and smartphone technology, coupled with our awesome new in-house team of professional sports experts, is uniquely positioned to usher in the next generation of fan engagement.”

Led by former NFL players and executives

The GFX management team was carefully selected to lead the platform’s go-to-market strategy and to recruit high quality athletes into the GFX community.

  • Ryan McNeil, GFX’s newly appointed CEO, earned All-American honors at the University of Miami and is a former All-Pro defensive back who played eleven seasons in the NFL. During his NFL career, Ryan founded the Professional Business and Financial Network, an organization designed to provide professional athletes with the fundamental tools they need to succeed in business. In addition, he also published OverTime Magazine (OT), the business and lifestyle guide for professional sports. Ryan currently is the Founder and CEO of SportsID, Inc., a new sports technology company focused on lessening the fragmentation of the sports ecosystem while increasing the efficiency through data, analytics and statistics.
  • Ray Farmer, GFX Chief Operating Officer, is the former General Manager of the Cleveland Browns and former NFL linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was also the Director of pro personnel for Kansas City and a scout for the Atlanta Falcons. Before working in the NFL, Ray was the academic coordinator for football at Duke University in 2001 and worked in TV and radio.
  • Garrick Jones, GFX Executive, was a former NFL player for four seasons and CFL player for four additional seasons. Outside of the NFL, he is the Commissioner of the States Developmental Football League “SDFL,” President of the Huddle Up Foundation of Houston and on the Board of Directors for the NFL Players Association, Houston Chapter.

Rounding out the executive team is long time legal sports executive Matthew Couloute and veteran business operations executive Shaan Merchant.

Horizon is launching GFX through its 100% owned subsidiary, Horizon Sports X, LLC and aims to build a presence in each professional sport with a large affinity group. GFX is initially targeting U.S. professional athletes in the “big four” sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) along with international athletes and teams. The World Token Market is creating a website at to help Horizon create awareness and sales for this new initiative.