By David Villafranca
Los Angeles, Jun 18 (EFE).- When we think of Natalie Portman, Matthew McConaughey, Will Ferrell, Eva Longoria or Ryan Reynolds, we tend to think of the big screen.
But what we don’t know is that these Hollywood stars – united by a passion for football – are also football club owners.
In recent years, celebrities have been paying more attention to business opportunities and investments, and the football industry has seduced many to venture into the sports business.
Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey is a minority owner of Austin FC, while Will Ferrell purchased a stake in Los Angeles FC and Ryan Reynolds bought Wrexham AFC, a Welsh team in the Vanarama National League, Britain’s fifth division.
Actresses Natalie Portman and Eva Longoria – along with other female celebs – have invested in aspiring women’s football club Angel City FC, which will make its competition debut in 2022.
But celebrities’ interest in football might go beyond their love for the game, according to Eric Johnson, faculty director of the UCLA Anderson Center for Media, Entertainment and Sports.
Even though football is the biggest sport in the world, it has not and will not penetrate the United States market, and this is why celebrities are choosing to invest in US football clubs rather than established NBA or NFL teams, according to Johnson.
“It is a pragmatic investment,” he said.
With a small financial commitment, Hollywood stars can both own football clubs and enhance their international brand, Johnson believes.