Major League Soccer, a new investment destination?

We review the list of celebrities who have invested in this professional soccer league .

David Beckham, James Harden, Kevin Durant

Several celebrities have decided to invest in Major League Soccer. / Photos: instagram.com/davidbeckham, twitter.com/JHarden13, instagram.com/kd35ground

LatinamericanPost| Onofre Zambrano

Listen to this article

Leer en español: Major League Soccer: ¿un nuevo destino de inversión?

Major League Soccer (MLS) is interesting to investors. Kevin Durant, forward of the NBA Brooklyn Nets, and two-time league champion, was the most recent character to place his money in the future of this circuit, after acquiring a 5% stake in the Philadelphia Union plus the purchase option of an additional 5%.

Durant, former player of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors, thus became part of a long list of athletes and celebrities who have become minority partners of MLS teams , such as Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, Will Ferrell ( Los Angeles FC), James Harden (Houston Dynamo), Steve Nash (Vancouver Whitecaps) and Matthew McConaughey (Austin FC), among others.

The forward's first words were “I am excited to partner with the Philadephia Union for years to come. My team and I instantly connected with the coaches and the leadership, as well as with the history of the team, " reflected Excelsior de México.

The aforementioned news site, in turn, spread the feelings of Jay Sugarman, majority owner of the team. “We want to be known as an innovative team that is never satisfied. Kevin brings us unique perspectives as a person, champion, and sports icon. "


Sports interest?

One of the reasons Durant is believed to have invested in this set is the development shown in recent campaigns. In fact, in the 2019 campaign, Philadelphia ended the regular calendar in third place in the Eastern Conference.

Another reason is the hobby that the championship has awakened in American athletes from another discipline. In fact, Durant had already attempted to acquire this club on two previous occasions.

The basketball player himself admits it to ESPN. "I have been a fan of this sport and seeing the speed with which the popularity of the league has grown, seeing a greater number of fans emerging in different cities throughout the country and seeing how these franchises affected the companies in a city and for people individually, it was very interesting, "Durant told ESPN in an exclusive interview.

Such statement goes hand in hand with what Sergio Ruíz, a Venezuelan journalist who works as a narrator with Orlando City of the MLS, tells us. "The interest responds to the fact that it is one of the most highly valued leagues in the United States, there is a brutal soccer fever, especially among young people and the female public, since the Ladies' Team is the current world champion."


Business, passion,  or both?

For ex-footballers of the stature of David Beckham (Inter Miami FC), artists like Will Ferrell (Los Angeles FC) or even for dominant athletes in other sports like James Harden (Houston Dynamo), owning a club seems like a very interesting proposition even if they do not generate income.

In the case of Beckham, he already had previous experience with the 'class of '92', the one that he integrated with his former teammates at Manchester United: Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, since they bought in its moment the Salford City, of English League 2.

Also read:The quest for "Cheaper, simpler" Olympic Games

Los Angeles FC (LAFC) is barely going to complete its third year in the league, but it is already one of the franchises with the greatest economic power. The well-known actor Will Ferrell, the former basketball player Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the former soccer player Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra, form a part of the group of majority shareholders of this incipient set.

Most of the shares of the white and gold club in which the Mexican Carlos Vela stands out, however, correspond to local investors Brandon Beck, Larry Berg and Bennett Rosenthal.

NBA Houston Rockets star James Harden acquired 5% of the Houston Dynamo. Coincidentally, Harden was Durant's partner in the Oklahoma City Thunder. The former boxer Osca de la Hoya, an entrepreneur for some years, is also a co-owner of this club whose value amounts to $ 475 million.


Other cases

Actor, comedian, and presenter Drew Carey, bought in 2009 7.5% of the current league monarchs, the Seattle Sounders, a team that entered the circuit thanks to the expansion of the MLS in 2007.

After a visit to Spain on vacation, Carey became addicted to soccer and that was the main reason he made the investment. Few know of his ties to the team.

Strong rumors indicate that NFL Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife Ciara would have shares in the Sounders from 2019. For Wilson, soccer is "a transformative sport" because it allows for the inclusion and unification of American society.

Matthew McConaughey would have a stake in Austin FC of Texas, a club that will enter the circuit in 2021. Here, the link is sentimental since McConaughey loves the region in which it was formed at the university level.

Diplo, the populous DJ, acquired in 2016 some shares of the Phoenix Rising of the USL, a university branch of the MLS. Former Chelsea footballer Didier Drogba, bassist for Fall Out Boy band Pete Wentz and former major league pitcher Brandon McCarthy were already investing in the team.

Another co-owner for the love of the game is former Canadian NBA star Steve Nash, who began his journey as an investor with the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS in 2018 and later did the same with Mallorca in Spain in 2016. Nash has had the opportunity to comment on Champions League games.