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Sue Bird and Eli Manning buy stakes in Gotham FC

Jul 29, 2022
Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm shoots a three point basket during the game against the Chicago Skyon July 20, 2022 at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.

Sue Bird. Photo: Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

Sue Bird and Eli Manning are joining the parade of athletes and business titans investing in the sports biz with a stake in women's soccer franchise NJ/NY Gotham FC.

Why it matters: Gobs of money have gone to sports franchises in the last few years, and that's especially the case for the National Women's Soccer League. Buying into sports teams was forever seen as a trophy asset move that didn't make much money but offered tax and other benefits.

Yes, but: The ROI on some of these top-level teams across global sports leagues is growing and attracting sports stars, Wall Street types and private equity buyers.

Details: Sportico had the scoop Thursday, saying Manning and Bird are investing in the pro soccer club that now sports a $40 million valuation. Kevin Durant's Thirty Five Ventures and soccer legend Carli Lloyd (a former Gotham FC player) are also investors in the NWSL franchise.

What they're saying: "It wasn't a conversation," Bird told Forbes in an interview. "It was, 'Yeah, that sounds amazing.'"

From Reuters: NWSL teams have become popular investments among celebrities. Actors Natalie Portman, Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria are part of the ownership group of Angel City FC, which also includes Serena Williams.

  • Naomi Osaka is an investor in the North Carolina Courage, and former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Chelsea Clinton own stakes in the Washington Spirit.
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