Many celebrities have a passion for sport, and while they may not have played sport at the highest level, their career has allowed them to invest in something they love. From actors and musicians to sportspeople, a whole host of famous faces currently own a variety of sports teams.
David Beckham - Inter Miami CF
When soccer players retire, it is not unusual to see them become a coach or a manager of a club. However, David Beckham wanted a bigger project than that, so he decided to set up a new MLS franchise, Inter Miami.
Beckham spent five successful years in America playing for LA Galaxy, winning two MLS Cup trophies. When Beckham moved to LA Galaxy in 2007, he was given a purchase option of an MLS franchise for $25million as opposed to the $150million it would usually cost. The ex-England international took up this option in 2014 after he had retired, and alongside other members of the ownership group, developed his own club that would compete in Major League Soccer.
Inter Miami played their first MLS game in 2020, as the league has now expanded to 27 teams. The club, based in Florida, are coached by Beckham's former Manchester United team-mate and friend, Phil Neville. As president and owner, David Beckham has high hopes for his new venture and the club have been linked with signing global soccer stars such as Antoine Griezmann and even Lionel Messi in the future.
Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney - Wrexham
In the crazy year of 2020, in the soccer world it didn't get much crazier than this. Wrexham, a club run by their fans since 2011 and playing in the fifth tier of English football, did not expect to be bought by Hollywood superstars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
In what was seen by many as a publicity-induced takeover, the two actors presented their vision to the board of the Welsh club at the end of 2020, and by the start of 2021 had become proud owners of Wrexham.
"This is the third-oldest club on the planet and we don't see why it can't have a global appeal," said Reynolds. "We want Wrexham to be a global force."
With significant investment promised, Deadpool star Reynolds, and McElhenney, creator and star of the long-running comedy series It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, appear to be building the foundations to be a part of Wrexham for the foreseeable future. They clearly believe the club have the potential to get promoted back into the Football League from the National League, which they have been playing in since 2008.
Russell Crowe - South Sydney Rabbitohs
Gladiator actor Russell Crowe is known across the world for being an A-list actor. However, in Australia he is seen as an icon. Rugby league is one of the top sports in Australia and in 2006, Crowe became co-owner of National Rugby League club, South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Although Crowe was born in New Zealand, the film star moved to Australia in 1985 and fell in love with rugby soon after. Having grown up in Sydney, he has followed the Rabbitohs since childhood. Crowe's beloved team faced financial difficulty in the mid-2000s and he tried many ways of raising money for the club before eventually purchasing a 75% stake in the organisation.
The Oscar winner has helped raise awareness of rugby league since becoming involved with South Sydney and has no doubt had a positive impact on the sport, particularly regarding sponsorship deals. He also helped arrange to have Fox Sports broadcast rugby league's showcase event, the State of Origin and the NRL Grand Final for the first time in America.
Crowe's loyalty and passion for the sport was ultimately rewarded in 2014 as his beloved Rabbitohs won the NRL Grand Final for the first time since 1971 by defeating Canterbury Bulldogs 30-6.
Sir Elton John - Watford FC
Sir Elton John's love for Watford FC is by far one of the most famous stories over the years regarding celebrities and sports teams. The Rocket Man singer was born in the area and has supported his local club since he was a child.
The pop star's first involvement with the London-based club was in 1976, when he became the club's chairman and director. His aim was for Watford to be in the top league in English football. With large investments made, his club gained promotion three times in a short space of time and with this had achieved his goal.
In 1983, Watford finished runners-up in the First Division and the next season reached the FA Cup final. Since selling the club in 1987, Sir Elton has always been involved with Watford, and while he is no longer a majority shareholder, he still holds a large financial interest.
John's impact on the club has never gone unnoticed and in 2014 it was announced that a stand at Vicarage Road would be named the 'Sir Elton John Stand'. He later described it as one of the greatest days of his life.
Michael Jordan - Charlotte Hornets
NBA superstar Michael Jordan became the first former player to be a majority owner of a professional basketball franchise. His acquisition of Charlotte Hornets in 2010 cost him $180million, after previous owner Bob Johnson decided to sell the team.
Jordan, who grew up in North Carolina, considers the state his home and this is perhaps one of the reasons he decided to invest in the Hornets. After gaining ownership at the start of the last decade, the Chicago Fire icon holds responsibility of building their roster - a tough task for a team which has had little previous success in the NBA.
Forbes currently places the value of the franchise at $1.5billion and as a result seem to be in a good place off the court. However, on the court is a different story altogether.
In 2011/12, they recorded the worst single-season record of eight wins and 59 losses. Can the Hall of Famer use all his experience and finally turn their fortunes around as owner?
Will Ferrell - LAFC
After Los Angeles were awarded a spot in MLS back in 2014, Will Ferrell joined part of the ownership group that would take control of new franchise, Los Angeles FC. The Anchorman and Elf actor was introduced to the club by chance when a fellow parent from his kids' school contacted him asking if he wanted to get involved in the venture. As a huge soccer fan, Ferrell did not hesitate and became a co-owner of the franchise.
LAFC, who quickly formed a rivalry with MLS team LA Galaxy to contest the match known as 'El Trafico', made their debut in 2018 against Seattle Sounders in a 1-0 victory. They enjoyed a successful first season, finishing third in the Western Conference and reaching the play-offs as a result. The on-field joy continued in 2019 when the club clinched the Supporters Shield, and by the end of the regular season had broken multiple records, including the most points and highest goal difference in MLS history.
Ferrell, who has featured in an array of sporting films in his career, is joined on the LAFC board by other famous faces, including NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and retired US soccer player Mia Hamm. In what is an all-star cast of owners, the sky's the limit for the emerging MLS team with big dreams.
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