Tom Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl champion and one of the most successful athletes in American sports history, has added another accolade to his resume: soccer club owner. Brady has joined the group of celebrities who have invested in soccer clubs around the world, becoming a shareholder of Celtic FC, the Scottish powerhouse that has won 51 league titles and is one of the most popular teams in Europe.
Brady announced his decision on his Instagram account, posting a photo of himself wearing a Celtic jersey with the number 12 and the caption: “I’m excited to announce that I’m joining the Celtic family as a shareholder. Celtic is a legendary club with a rich history and a passionate fan base. I’ve always admired their style of play and their commitment to excellence. I can’t wait to visit Glasgow and cheer them on at Celtic Park.”
Brady’s investment is part of a larger deal that involves Fenway Sports Group (FSG), the owners of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC, who have acquired a 10% stake in Celtic for $250 million. FSG is led by John W. Henry, who is also a friend and mentor of Brady. Henry praised Brady’s involvement in the deal, saying: “Tom is not only a great football player, but also a great businessman and a great leader. He shares our vision of building a global sports empire that transcends borders and cultures. We are delighted to have him on board as a partner and a fan of Celtic.”
Celebrities are backing soccer clubs as a new trend
Brady is not the only celebrity who has decided to invest in soccer clubs in recent years. The trend of famous personalities becoming involved in the beautiful game has been growing steadily, as more and more celebrities see soccer as a lucrative and exciting opportunity to expand their brand and influence.
Some of the most notable examples of celebrities who have backed soccer clubs are:
- Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney: The Hollywood actors bought Wrexham AFC, a fifth-tier Welsh club, for $2.5 million in 2020. They have pledged to inject $2 million into the club and turn it into a “global force” with a Netflix-style documentary series.
- LeBron James: The NBA superstar became a minority owner of Liverpool FC in 2011, when he acquired a 2% stake in the club through FSG. He has since increased his stake to 3%, which is worth around $100 million after Liverpool won the Champions League and the Premier League in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
- Will Ferrell: The comedian and actor is one of the co-owners of Los Angeles FC, an MLS expansion team that debuted in 2018. Ferrell is an avid soccer fan who often attends LAFC games and interacts with the fans. He has also recruited other celebrities to join him as co-owners, such as Magic Johnson, Mia Hamm, and Nomar Garciaparra.
- David Beckham: The former England captain and Manchester United legend is the co-owner and president of Inter Miami CF, another MLS expansion team that debuted in 2020. Beckham used his option to buy an MLS franchise for $25 million as part of his contract with LA Galaxy in 2007. He has since attracted other investors to join him, such as Jorge Mas, Marcelo Claure, and Masayoshi Son.
Soccer clubs benefit from celebrity backing
The involvement of celebrities in soccer clubs is not only beneficial for the celebrities themselves, but also for the clubs and the sport as a whole. Celebrities can bring more attention, exposure, and revenue to the clubs they back, as well as attract new fans and sponsors. They can also use their influence and connections to help the clubs grow and improve their performance on and off the pitch.
For example, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have boosted Wrexham’s profile by appearing on talk shows, social media, and podcasts to promote the club. They have also secured a lucrative sponsorship deal with TikTok, which will see the club’s shirts feature the logo of the popular video-sharing app. They have also hired experienced staff and players to help Wrexham achieve their goal of reaching the Football League.
Similarly, LeBron James has helped Liverpool increase their popularity and profitability in the US market, where soccer is still growing. He has also used his relationship with Nike to secure a new kit deal for Liverpool, which will see the club earn $39 million per year from the sportswear giant. He has also supported Liverpool’s charitable initiatives, such as donating $1 million to renovate a local school.
In addition, David Beckham has used his global fame and network to attract some of the biggest names in soccer to Inter Miami, such as Gonzalo Higuain, Blaise Matuidi, and Phil Neville. He has also built a state-of-the-art stadium and training facility for Inter Miami, which will host international matches and events. He has also partnered with local organizations to promote soccer and social causes in the Miami community.
Soccer is becoming more popular and accessible
The trend of celebrities backing soccer clubs is a reflection of the growing popularity and accessibility of soccer around the world. Soccer is no longer seen as a niche sport that only appeals to a certain demographic or region. It is now a global phenomenon that attracts millions of fans and viewers from different backgrounds and cultures.
Soccer is also becoming more accessible thanks to the advancement of technology and media. Fans can now watch soccer matches from anywhere in the world, on any device, at any time. They can also interact with their favorite clubs and players through social media, apps, and games. They can also participate in soccer activities, such as playing, coaching, or volunteering, in their local communities.
Soccer is also becoming more diverse and inclusive, as more women, minorities, and marginalized groups are involved in the sport. Soccer is a powerful tool for social change and empowerment, as it can break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and inspire people to achieve their dreams.
Soccer is not only a sport, but also a culture, a lifestyle, and a passion. Celebrities are not only backing soccer clubs, but also embracing soccer as a way of expressing themselves and connecting with others. Soccer is not only for the elite, but also for the masses. Soccer is not only for the old, but also for the new.