Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, Will Ferrell, Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Reynolds are some of the Hollywood actors who have decided to unite their passion for football and their business acumen.
In recent years, Hollywood figures have become owners of soccer teams and have led the great spotlights from the cinema to the stadiums.
One of them is Eva Longoria, who assured Efe that what is happening with Angel City FC it is “revolutionary.” The Latin star is part of a large group of investors, led by Natalie Portman, who are behind this women’s team that will debut in Los Angeles in 2022.
Along with Longoria and Portman, the actresses also appear as promoters of Angel City FC. America Ferrera, Becky G, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Chastain, Sophia Bush and Uzo Aduba.
Longoria, who recently announced that he has become a shareholder of Mexican Necaxa, underlined the importance of Angel City FC having a majority of women up front for decision making.
“It’s like getting behind the camera to be a director. To get good opportunities and change the situation for women, we need to sit in company boardrooms“, He defended.
Actors have long ceased to be just artists to become major investors with multiple business interests.
However, it is striking that many Hollywood figures have chosen precisely for football, a sport that, although it has had great growth in the United States, continues to be less popular and economically powerful than the impact of the major leagues in basketball (NBA), American football (NFL) or baseball (MLB).
Soccer as a brand driver
Eric Johnson, director of the School of Media, Entertainment and Sports at the University of California, explained to Efe that, beyond the love for football that these stars may have, there are compelling reasons to justify these investments from the point of view economic.
“Soccer is the sport of the whole world. Therefore, it is undeniable that it will enter the United States. It is a very useful investment“.
Johnson explained that the cost of the teams in the US soccer MLS is “relatively low”, at least compared to NBA or NFL franchises.
Thus, Hollywood stars can enter the property of these football clubs without excessive financial difficulties. This exhibition can be used to “enhance your international brand”As a figure in the cinema.
The expert remarks that, in the case of actors, taking the red carpet to the football fields can have benefits for them in the form of money, fame, popularity or personal brandl.
Two ways of entry
Johnson opined that there is two ways of entry from Hollywood stars to soccer teams.
On one side are the great stars that have entered in consolidated teams and of the highest competitive level, as did Matthew McConaughey with Austin FC.
Another example would be the relationship between Liverpool and LeBron James. The basketball player recently joined Hollywood to star in the sequel to Space Jam.
Johnson pointed out that when Liverpool wanted to have “a greater presence in the United States” he saw in James “a marketing tool to win fans“.
Contrary to these examples are those in which an actor has become owner of a modest team who plays in a lower division.
Among them is Ryan Reynolds, who this year bought the Wrexham AFC of the English fifth division. Johnson explains why the Canadian actor wanted to buy a small club in Wales.
“If the team is promoted, it can turn a very small investment into something worthwhile. And the actor it is also being promoted outside the United States by owning something that has value and recognition in countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain or Italy ”.
The actor as a marketing engine
One of the references of this landing of Hollywood in the leadership of football is Will Ferrell with Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC).
Since making his MLS debut in 2018, LAFC has caused a sensation in Los Angeles with the Mexican Carlos Vela as a benchmark on the field and with a large stadium in the center of the Californian city.
From an amazing launch campaign, the club managed to create its own identity in time record and reunite a totally dedicated hobby with your team. To finish off the master move, LAFC has Ferrell as one of its owners.
“LAFC has done the best marketing campaign for a new team in America in any sport,” Johnson said. He further emphasized that a figure like Ferrel can act as a “marketing engine” to turn football and that team into something “cool”
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