Angel City FC’s motto is “ladies first”. A newcomer to North America’s women’s soccer league, a club with a special mission: equal rights for women.
In Los Angeles, where something great happens every day, there must be a special reason why the expectation of something new is extraordinary. Today is such a day.
Angel City FC make their debut in the National Women’s Football League, NWSL.
Hamm was the first female soccer star in the US and is still an icon. But as co-owner of Angel City FC, Hamm is just one of many celebrities.
Group of owners as diverse as Los Angeles
The list ranges from Hollywood celebrities (Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Garner) to sports stars (Serena Williams, Lindsey Vonn, Billie Jean King) and venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. A group as diverse as Los Angeles itself… What’s striking is that they’re almost all women. Women in Duty: “To be champions on the court and champions of justice off the court,” says Portman.
The player is the pioneer of football angels. A few years ago, Portman saw former football player Abby Wambach receive the “Icon award” from ESPN TV channel along with basketball star Kobe Bryant and football quarterback Peyton Manning.
While Bryant and Manning were debating where to invest the millions they’d earned throughout their careers, Wambach had to consider which bank would give him cheap loans. Despite being the top star in his sport, the striker was paid much less than his male counterparts.
Women in sports are highly devalued
“That’s when I first thought about the fact that women are so underrated in sports – and that’s in the United States, where sport is culturally relevant,” Portman said. She wasn’t a football fan at the time, but she still wanted to fight for equality.
Meetings, phone calls, and exchanges of ideas followed. Portman met friends and colleagues, as well as investment professionals. And she had an idea: a women-run football club for women and women’s rights.
The vision quickly inspired other celebrities, attracted financiers and sports stars. As of July 2020, New Jersey Governor Tim Murphy, as co-owner of NJ/NY Gotham FC, was the only significant club owner in the NWSL. Then Portman and her partners founded Angel City FC – perhaps the hottest start-up in global women’s sport.
The community benefits from the association
“Our investments must ensure that women are represented in an environment where even women’s sport is owned or managed by men,” emphasizes Eva Longoria.
Society should also benefit from the association. Each investor pays ten percent of their sponsorship to charity projects. Here’s how one brewer donated his stake to LA’s LGBTQ community. Another sponsor provides approximately 250,000 meals a year to those in need.
Goalkeeper Schult arrives in summer
Fan interest in Angel City FC is high. The club has sold 15,300 season tickets. That’s more than double the league viewership average (7.337) for the 2019 season, the last season before Covid.
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