“So far I’ve found it to be very time-consuming, emotionally exhausting, financially idiotic and utterly addictive”
When you’re a celebrity, you can take your passion for your favorite sports team to the next level. While most devoted sports fans buy tickets for the whole season, some famous fans actually buy the whole team! Not only does their stake in the team give them bragging rights for life but it’s also a great financial investment for these wealthy stars. On top of that, having a celebrity endorsement has proven to be a great morale boost for teams looking to improve their game — and it ends up being a winning situation for everyone involved!
Here’s what these celebrities had to say about their sports teams…
In 2020, Ryan Reynolds and his business partner Rob McElhenney became co-chairmen of Wrexham AFC when they purchased the welsh-based soccer team for an estimated $2.4 million. It was originally Rob’s idea to invest in the team and he eventually asked Ryan to come on board — despite never having actually met him in person. Ryan agreed to go all in with Rob and since then, he admits he’s become addicted to watching the team succeed.
“I’ve only been the owner of a football club for a very short time. So far I’ve found it to be very time-consuming, emotionally exhausting, financially idiotic and utterly addictive,” Ryan joked to The Guardian.
Matthew McConaughey is a minority owner in Major League Soccer expansion team, Austin FC. Not only is Matthew a team owner but he also serves as the club’s minister of culture, a position which he is using to help the franchise’s “roots grow deeper, not just wider.”
“I’m not interested in just being a mascot…I’ve always dreamed of being on the ground level. There are shortcuts everywhere…We’re trying to build a big strong oak. This is a 100-year war. We have the long view for what we’re going to become,” Matthew shared.
Natalie Portman may not have been a sports fan growing up but she recently helped found Angel City FC, a women’s soccer team based in Los Angeles. Her foray into the world of soccer began several years ago when she helped draw attention to the pay inequality faced by the US women’s team. As she watched them play, she realized that amplifying female athletes “could rapidly shift culture.”
After finding investors Natalie teamed up with Eva Longoria, Jennifer Garner, Uzo Aduba and Jessica Chastain, who all became co-owners of the team. In fact, the team boasts more than 100 co-owners – two-thirds of whom are women.
“Our dream is to make women’s soccer as valued as male soccer is throughout the world,” Natalie said.
Before Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez split, they purchased a small percentage of the Miami Dolphins. Following the former couple’s divorce, Marc received their entire stake in the football team as part of their settlement. While Jennifer no longer has ownership in the team, Marc is still an owner alongside several other celebrities including Serena and Venus Williams.
“I’m a huge sports fan. These opportunities don’t come around too often. It’s quite an honor and a privilege to be able to sit here today saying that I’m a part-owner of an NFL team,” Marc said following his purchase in 2009.
Fergie is another minority owner in the Miami Dolphins, purchasing her stake in the team around the same time as Marc. To this day, Fergie is still a part of the ownership board and was even rumored to be in consideration to represent the team while primary owner Stephen Ross was suspended by the NFL.
In 2016, Will Ferrell became a co-owner of Los Angeles FC — before the team had even played their first match. He says it all began when the father of one of his kid’s friends approached him about starting the franchise. Since then, Will has become a staple at LAFC games, often seen leading fan chants from the stands and goofing off with the team.
“Believe it or not, one of the members of the ownership group is a fellow dad and our kids go to the same school. And he sent me an email saying ‘Hey, I don’t know if this would be interesting to you. We’re forming this ownership group and I know you played soccer.’ And I was talking to my wife and I said ‘This would be fantastic,'” Will explained.
Justin Timberlake went back to his Tennessee roots when he purchased a minority stake in the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012. Through the years, Justin has been spotted showing his support from the sidelines and recently campaigned for Grizzlies player Ja Morant to start in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.
In 2006, Russell Crowe became a co-owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, a rugby team based in his native Australia. Over the years, he helped bring the team to prominence and often attended games with his famous friends. He recently announced that he would be taking a step back from his ownership position and would be selling his stake in the team.
“It’s pretty simple, I have to make more time for my family. I have loved the responsibility of bringing South Sydney back to being a competitive force. With many player contracts long-term and a great coach in place it’s the right time. This will only be a change at the corporate level of Blackcourt, the company that Peter and I control. Members and fans should understand that nothing will change at a club level. South Sydney ’til I die – one red eye, one green eye,” Russell said in a statement.
In addition to part ownership in Angel City FC, Eva Longoria is also a partial owner of Mexican-based soccer team, Club Necaxa. Eva, along with a group of celebrities including soccer star Mesut Ozil and Kate Upton, make up a consortium that own half of the club’s shares.
Bill Murray has ownership in several minor league baseball teams including the Charleston RiverDogs, Brockton Rocks and Hudson Valley Renegades. In 2014, he also became a co-owner of the St. Paul Saints. He can often be seen at their games and once even decided to get in on the action and helped check tickets for fans entering the stadium.
Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith became part owners in the Philadelphia 76ers when they bought a percentage of the team in 2011. As a longtime fan of his hometown basketball team, Will shared that there’s no feeling like owning a sports team.
“There is nothing, in like all of entertainment, than to walk into the building when it’s announced that you’re a part owner of your hometown basketball team. That is ridiculous,” Will said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” jokingly adding, “If the team doesn’t win, it sucks later.”