We have news of high-profile NWSL investors on tap, as the ownership groups of the Chicago Red Stars and Washington Spirit have added big names like Alex Ovechkin and Aimee Garcia.
Washington Capitals star Ovechkin is one of the highest-profile names to invest in the NWSL, joining the likes of Serena Williams, Natalie Portman, Billie Jean King, Chelsea Clinton, Jenna Bush and Lindsey Vonn as partial owners of NWSL teams. For Ovechkin, the investment is important as a show of support both for women’s sports and the D.C. area:
“I think it’s important to support women and women’s professional athletes — not just in the United States, but all over the world,” Ovechkin told ESPN. “It was also important for me to support the D.C. community. I support everybody in this town. Me and my wife love to go watch a soccer game, watch football, and baseball. We all win. If I have this opportunity, I think it’s very important for me to do it, because it also shows we care.”…
“I think this is the time,” Steve Baldwin, the Spirit’s managing partner, told ESPN. “We deal with a situation where 99 percent of sponsor dollars goes to men, and 96 percent of media coverage goes to men’s sports. You kind of need an army within your community to help take women’s sports to another level. What we’re doing in women’s soccer can really change the game, and really change the world in many ways.”
In Chicago, a bevy of investors have joined the Red Stars ownership, including award-winning actress Aimee Garcia, US Men’s National Team gymnast Josh Dixon, Netflix Head of Global TV Bela Bajaria, and Chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group Channing Dungey, in addition to distinguished businesspeople and prominent Chicago families.
“We continue to be overwhelmed and thrilled with the number of great humans that want to ensure that the Red Stars grow and succeed,” said Chairman and Principal Owner Arnim Whisler in a press statement. “It truly is a testament to the family of current and former players and staff, our success on the field, the powerful brand we’ve built, and the incredible city we represent. This group will elevate the club not only in Chicago, but nationally and internationally,” said Whisler.
Also joining the club are award-winning entertainment executive Keli Lee, Chief Operating Officer of SpringHill Company Devin Johnson and his daughter Carys, restaraunteur Ken Kaufman, journalist Nora Mabie, entrepreneur Kim Vender Moffat, entertainment lawyers Nick Coleman and John Moonves, and Jim, Graham and Kirk Allen, the owners of Sloan, a 115-year-old Chicago-based manufacturing company.