Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs’ second-year quarterback, became the latest high-profile athlete to enter the world of fantasy football.
Patrick Mahomes joins LeBron, Durant, Reynolds-McElhenney and Ferrell as celebrity football owners.
Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, has become the latest star to invest in soccer. Getty Images/Jamie Squire
Patrick Mahomes, the great quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, has become the latest celebrity to invest in a football team, Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer.
The 25-year-old, who is gearing up for his fifth season with the Chiefs in the NFL, has added a stake in his hometown soccer club to his growing list of local sports businesses.
This comes after Mahomes invested in the Kansas City Royals baseball club’s ownership group last year, and his fiancée Brittany Matthews is a co-owner of the city’s National Women’s Soccer League squad.
Mahomes stated, “I am thankful for the chance to join Sporting Kansas City’s ownership team and deepen my relationship to the fans and the city I love.” “Sporting is a community-oriented organization, and I’m looking forward to continuing to support the development of soccer in Kansas City.”
Mahomes was crowned NFL MVP in 2018 after leading the Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl LIV, following which he received the richest deal in sports history and agreed to return in 2020.
Sporting KC is in second position in the MLS Western Conference standings following a strong start to the 2021 season, only two points behind league leaders Seattle Sounders at the top. After making it to the semifinals of the playoffs last season, Sporting KC supporters will be hopeful that bringing in a proven winner like Mahomes can help them win their first MLS Cup since 2013.
Champion of the Super Bowl. MVP of the National Football League. And now the @SportingKC ownership group has a new member!
@PatrickMahomes, welcome to @MLS! pic.twitter.com/02QhQKrAGs
July 27, 2021 — Don Garber (@thesoccerdon)
Mahomes joins a growing list of celebrities who have dabbled in the realm of football ownership. Whether it’s former footballers like David Beckham (Inter Miami CF), dominant athletes in other sports like Kevin Durant (Philadelphia Union) and LeBron James (Liverpool), music legends like Elton John (formerly the chairman of Watford), or Hollywood stars like Ryan Reynolds (Wrexham) or Will Ferrell (LAFC), club ownership is becoming an increasingly appealing proposition for celebrities.
It may be a love of the game, a personal connection, pure business, or just because they can, but we’re seeing more and more celebrities dabbling in football ownership for a variety of reasons. In the same spirit, we looked at other celebrities who own football teams all around the globe.
Since it was originally published on June 16, 2020, this article has been updated.
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Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds (Wrexham FC)
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#WxmAFC pic.twitter.com/JgJs6QUj7H #WxmAFC pic.twitter.com/JgJs6QUj7H
30 June 2021 — Wrexham AFC (@Wrexham AFC)
Reynolds and McElhenney teamed together to lead a surprise Hollywood takeover of Wrexham in November 2020, when the club was 14th in the National League’s fifth division. The 157-year-old Welsh club has been playing non-league football since dropping out of the Football League in 2008, but that hasn’t stopped Reynolds and McElhenney from promising to “wake up the sleeping behemoth” and turn the Red Dragons into a “global power.” Wrexham finished 8th in 2020-21, missing out on the playoffs by a single point, a far cry from their previous best league position of 15th in the former Second Division (now the Championship) in 1978-79. In their new position as sports owners, the couple has been having a lot of fun, and a TV program about their exploits at The Racecourse Ground is in the works.
Philadelphia Union’s Kevin Durant (5 percent )
Kevin Durant joins previous NBA MVPs LeBron James, Magic Johnson, James Harden, and Steve Nash as owners of football teams. The Philadelphia Union provided this image.
Kevin Durant, an NBA superstar, revealed in June 2020 that he had acquired a stake in the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. The former NBA MVP and Brooklyn Nets forward purchased a 5 percent interest in the club with the option to buy another 5 percent in the future. Durant, who had previously attempted to join the ownership group of D.C. United twice, said the move “simply made sense.” “I’ve always been a fan of the sport, and seeing how quickly the league’s popularity grew, seeing more fans pop up in different cities across the country, and then seeing how these franchises impacted the city’s businesses and people individually was very intriguing,” Durant told ESPN at the time in an exclusive interview. The Union won the Supporters’ Shield as the best team in Major League Soccer’s regular season only a few months after Durant joined the club.
– Captain America saves the day! Union raises a fictitious Supporters’ Shield in celebration.
Liverpool, LeBron James (2 percent )
On the field and in the economic world, LeBron James’ investment in Liverpool has paid off handsomely. courtesy of Getty Images
The Los Angeles Lakers great has four NBA championships, four league and finals MVP honors, and 17 All-Star appearances. He also has a minority interest in Premier League team Liverpool. In 2011, the future Hall of Famer purchased $6.5 million for a 2% stake in the Merseyside club, and his investment has paid off! According to Business Insider, James’ $6.5 million investment was worth $32 million in 2018. Since then, Liverpool has won the Champions League and the Premier League for the first time in 30 years, so James has more than 32 million reasons to scream out “You’ll Never Walk Alone”!
Will Ferrell, Magic Johnson, Mia Hamm, Nomar Garciaparra, and the Los Angeles Football Club (undisclosed)
In 2016, Will Ferrell and Magic Johnson broke ground on the Banc of California Stadium, which will be home to LAFC. Greg Doherty/WireImage photo
Although LAFC is just in its fourth season in Major League Soccer, the Los Angeles new guys already have a Hollywood vibe about them. While local businessmen Brandon Beck, Larry Berg, and Bennett Rosenthal control the bulk of the club, comedian Will Ferrell, NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, ex-USWNT star Mia Hamm, and Hamm’s husband, former MLB All-Star Nomar Garciaparra, all own shares. Since its establishment, LAFC has been one of the league’s finest and most entertaining teams, winning the Supporters’ Shield in 2019, while Ferrell has provided plenty of laughs off the field. The former “Saturday Night Live” actor, who is also a Chelsea fan, celebrated the club’s first-ever match by doing an interview with ESPN as Ron Burgundy from “Anchorman.”
James Harden has two NBA MVP awards and two scoring championships under his belt, but can he win the MLS Cup as a team owner? courtesy of Getty Images
Kevin Durant isn’t the first NBA great to invest in Major League Soccer; in July 2019, his former Oklahoma City Thunder colleague James Harden bought a 5% interest in the Houston Dynamo. The Dynamo, who are also owned by former world boxing champion Oscar de la Hoya, missed the playoffs in Harden’s first season but are valued at $475 million. The club also gave their whole roster “The Beard” treatment on the club’s official website to make him feel at ease.
pic.twitter.com/JlOUbyoE84 BeardApp > FaceApp
July 19, 2019 — Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo)
Watford, Elton John (owned up to 93 percent )
Elton John grew up only five miles from Vicarage Road and purchased Watford in 1976, the year he was born. Getty Images/Charlie Crowhurst
The British music superstar has owned Watford on two times, the first from 1976 to 1987 and the second from 1997 to 2002. John, who is still an honorary life president of Watford, frequently attends home matches and has a stand named after him. John’s initial tenure as chairman coincided with Watford’s promotion from the fourth to the first division, with a second-place finish in 1983 and a run to the FA Cup final in 1984. In 2019, the Hornets’ official club hymn was “I’m Still Standing,” while John’s son Zachary joined Watford’s Academy in 2018.
Seattle Sounders’ Drew Carey (initially bought 7.5 percent )
Drew Carey was the first American celebrity to invest in Major League Soccer teams. Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Tom Hauck
When he acquired a 7.5 percent interest in MLS expansion club Seattle Sounders in 2007, the actor, comedian, and game show presenter became one of the first American celebrities to invest in soccer. Carey, a lifelong Cleveland sports enthusiast, first got interested in soccer during a trip to Spain, and his passion for the game has only grown since then. The presenter of “Whose Line Is It Anyway” and “The Price Is Right” has had a successful relationship with the Sounders, as the team has won two MLS Cups (2016, 2019) and has become one of the league’s most valued teams. Carey is also not a solitary owner, since he attends home games on a regular basis and acts as the president of the Sounders FC Alliance, the club’s official membership organization.
Austin FC’s Matthew McConaughey (undisclosed)
“Fine, alright, alright,” said the star of “Dazed and Confused,” “Lincoln Lawyer,” and “Wolf of Wall Street,” who supported his alma mater’s move into soccer in 2019. Austin FC then joined the Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2021, debuting with a six-game losing streak. By getting McConaughey, Austin’s unofficial mayor, on board in the first place, the franchise had arguably already won their first big success. In early July, they earned their first league points with a 4-1 thrashing of the Portland Timbers. After delivering a motivating drum performance before the last home game against the San Jose Earthquakes in scenes disturbingly similar to his chest-thumping, rhythmic-humming, trance-like appearance in “Wolf of Wall Street,” McConaughey was asked to return.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won virtually every league in which he has competed, and his next task will be as the owner of Hammarby in his home country of Sweden. AFP/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND photo via Getty Images
Everything Zlatan does tends to create headlines, so it’s no wonder that his news that he’d purchase a quarter-share of Swedish club Hammarby in 2019 ruffled some feathers. Ibrahimovic was a product of Malmo’s youth system, and his choice to invest in a rival club like Hammarby was seen as a “betrayal” by Malmo fans, who vandalized and eventually toppled a monument of the striker outside the team’s home stadium. The criticism didn’t bother Zlatan, who described the group as “kindergarten level.” This is a guy who has been likened to lions, Ferraris, and even God!
Seattle Sounders’ Russell Wilson and Ciara (undisclosed)
Russell Wilson and Ciara, a power couple, acquired a minority interest in the Seattle Sounders in 2019. courtesy of Getty Images
Seattle is known for its sports and celebrities, so it’s only appropriate that Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, Grammy Award-winning singer Ciara, become part of the Seattle Sounders ownership group in 2019. The Pro Bowl quarterback described soccer as a “transformational sport” and said the sport’s uniting force and inclusivity played a big role in the couple’s choice to become involved.
Ronaldo has played in Spain for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, and currently plays for Real Valladolid in La Liga. Getty Images/VCG/VCG/VCG/VCG/VCG/VCG/VCG/
Real Valladolid is a quiet club that has spent most of its existence bouncing between Spain’s Primera and Segunda Divisions. Ronaldo was undeterred by this. The two-time World Cup winner and two-time Ballon d’Or winner purchased a 51 percent interest in the Spanish club for €30 million in 2018 and currently owns an 82 percent ownership in the Blanquivioletas. Valladolid has spent the last two seasons in La Liga, presently in 14th place, and seems to be on track for a third straight season in the top division.
Phoenix Rising, Diplo (undisclosed)
Along with Didier Drogba, three-time Grammy Award-winning DJ Diplo owns a piece in the USL’s Phoenix Rising. Motorola photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images
Diplo, one of the world’s most well-known and famous DJs, is another star that adores “The Beautiful Game.” The three-time Grammy winner joined a star-studded ownership group that includes Chelsea icon Didier Drogba, Fall Out Boy guitarist Pete Wentz, and ex-MLB pitcher Brandon McCarthy in purchasing a share in USL club Phoenix Rising in 2016. The team, which finished 2019 with the best record in the Western Conference, is still interested in entering MLS and formerly had Diplo’s musical company Mad Decent as a shirt sponsor.
Steve Nash is a huge soccer enthusiast and a die-hard Tottenham Hotspur fan. courtesy of Getty Images
Former NBA point player Steve Nash’s passion for football is well-known, with the former point guard a die-hard Tottenham Hotspur fan and occasional Champions League commentator. Nash is from a soccer family and was born in South Africa. Martin, his brother, has 38 caps for Canada, while Joann, his sister, led her college soccer team for three years. The two-time NBA MVP and former Phoenix Suns player first invested in his hometown Whitecaps in 2008, then Mallorca in 2016. Nash’s investment in Mallorca (he was part of a consortium that bought a $21 million stake) has paid off handsomely, as the club has won back-to-back promotions and is back in La Liga for the first time since 2013.
David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt (10 percent each)
With Manchester United, the Class of ’92 won Europe, and now they’re tasked with helping Salford City climb the Football League standings. Getty Images/John Peters/Man Utd
David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, and Nicky Butt, collectively known as the “Class of ’92,” came to fame in Manchester nearly 30 years ago, winning a total of 120 trophies at Old Trafford under renowned manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Five of the six returned to Manchester in 2014 to buy eighth-tier Salford City, whose stadium is just 5 miles from the dazzling lights of “The Theatre of Dreams.” Beckham joined his old colleagues in purchasing a 10% interest in the club in 2019, and the club has thrived since then. Salford has won four promotions in five seasons, owing mainly to financial support from the Class of ’92, to reach the fourth tier (League Two) and the Football League for the first time ever. In 2017, the team built a new stadium, and they are the subject of the Netflix docuseries “Class of ’92: Out of Their League.” Beckham has also gone it alone, serving as president and co-owner of Major League Soccer team Inter Miami.
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