No. Our contracts are not loans. Players receive an upfront investment from Big League Advance in exchange for an agreed upon percentage of their future Major League earnings. If the player never makes it to the Major Leagues, the player will never owe or pay any money back to Big League Advance.
Our model, while new to baseball, is like many venture capital funds in Silicon Valley. Big League Advance expects to take a loss on its investments in most players, while benefitting on the players who play a long time in the Major Leagues. It is the same as technology venture funds that make numerous investments in start-ups that fail in hopes of finding the next Amazon or Google.
No. In fact, we expect that we will lose money on the vast majority of players we sign. It is extremely difficult to predict which minor league players will end up becoming successful Major League players. More than 90% of minor league players will never play a single day in the Major Leagues. Even top ranked prospects have a hard time making it to the Major Leagues. To illustrate that point, from 2009-2013, 54 players that were ranked as a team’s #1 or #2 prospect, AND were top 100 overall prospects, are either out of baseball or unlikely to make it to arbitration.
No!!! As noted above, our agreements are not loans. A loan by definition is when a sum of money is borrowed that is expected to be paid back, usually with interest. While as a company, we hope the players we invest in succeed, there is no requirement or expectation to pay back the money if he does not make the Major Leagues. Additionally, pay day loans make the majority of their money on people that are least able to pay. Big League advance does not make money on players that are financially less fortunate. Big League Advance only makes money on players who make the Major Leagues, and are likely to have multi-million dollar contracts. Big League Advance prides itself on being a financial tool that acts in the opposite way that pay day loans act.
No. Players choose what percentage of their future career earnings they want to give Big League Advance. For example, Big League Advance may offer a player $50,000 for every 1% of his future professional earnings. If a player wanted sign a deal for 5%, he would receive $250,000, or if he wanted to sign a deal for 10%, he would receive $500,000. While our offer amounts are non-negotiable, the percentage the player would like to give up is up to the player.
Our number 1 priority at Big League Advance is to make sure the player fully understands the deal. If the player does not speak, or is not fluent in, English, we write the contract in his native language. In addition, we have a translator available to answer any questions he may have about the contract. Before a player signs our contract, we have the player confirm that he has had outside legal counsel review the contract with him to make sure he understands the terms of the contract. We do not sell or advise a player to accept a deal with Big League Advance. We present the player an offer and it is up to him if it is something that he would like to accept or not. Additionally, at signing, we ask the players questions to make sure they understand the deal. If the player is Spanish speaking, we ask the questions in Spanish. One example of a question is to ask the player if he understands that if he makes $500,000,000 in his career he would owe us $25,000,000 over his career (assuming he does a deal for 5%). We also explain that if the player does not make it to the Major Leagues, they will never owe us any money for any reason.
We rely on a variety of factors, including players’ background, scouting, and statistics.