For which team should basketball superstar LeBron James play? Where should celebrity statistician Nate Silver ply his trade: the New York Times or ESPN? On which network should Jon Stewart flash his mordant wit? For some reason, the answers to these disparate questions are only indirectly related to the desires of third-party fans. We think this could be different.
Specifically, we propose the development of Fan Action Committees (FACs). These organizations would coordinate, aggregate, and monetize the intensity of fan preferences and would thus serve to either enrich "talent" directly, or make contributions to charities favored by the talent (our preferred approach). By anticipating obstacles under current rules to the development of FACs, as well as objections--ranging from considerations of competitive balance to distributive justice--we examine, and, ultimately, advance the case for FACs. Importantly, crowdfunding through FACs creates the potential for more efficient valuations of talent by registering not only the number of fans but also the intensity of their preferences. This insight, which stresses the upside of price discrimination, has relevance to a wide range of human endeavor. In short, the introduction of FACs can basically change the dynamic of any area where bilateral contracts have third party externalities that are not currently calibrated or adequately valued.