The latest twist in private equity is the organized purchasing power of what Trendwatching calls crowd clout: consumers using their collective power to get what they desire, either as flash mobs (see the Chinese phenomenon of tuangou: people interested in buying a certain product congregate online and then storm into a physical store at a coordinated time to negotiate a bulk discount) or through an online fundraising effort such as MyFootballClub, which aims to buy a professional league soccer/football club in the UK.
More about MyFootballClub on Springwise:
“Football fans can currently register for free, but commit to paying GBP 35 as soon as 50,000 people have registered. This will create a purchase fund of GBP 1,375,000, plus GBP 375,000 for staffing and running MyFootballClub. When registering, members vote for the team they'd like to buy. As soon as they've paid their membership fee, they can confirm their prior choice or pick another team.
After a club has been purchased, a Board will be formed to help run it, containing existing supporters of the club, existing board members, new directors and a member of the MyFootballClub web team. The Board will consult MyFootballClub members on all major decisions. All members will be able to vote, and decisions will be made based on those votes. Which, theoretically, should create steadier management than most clubs have, where personal politics and clashing interests can get in the way of sound decision making. And, as MyFootballClub states: ‘Without having to rely on the wealth and goodwill of an individual owner, the club will benefit from the pooled resources, knowledge and enthusiasm of thousands of football fans worldwide.’
Members will be able to vote on crucial matters such as team formation, tactics and substitutions. To keep members fully in the loop, the head coach and players will give regular video briefings, which will be available online, as well as reports from the training ground. Wisdom of the crowds will also be used to decide which players to buy or sell, and for how much. To ensure all members have equal rights, MyFootballClub limits ownership to one share per member.”
I'm not sure if MyFootballClub will raise enough money to buy Chelsea or Arsenal but perhaps it’ll be enough to steer Torquay United to a more prosperous future…