July 20, 2024

Why are more and more celebrities investing in British football?

Canadian-American actor Ryan Reynolds attends the China press conference for his new movie "Deadpool 2" in Beijing, China, 20 January 2019.

Football has been a big part of British culture for years. According to statistics, the football league contributes a staggering £7.6 billion to the UK economy each year. But it’s not just UK-nationals that love the game – our beloved sport has captured the interest and investment of global celebrities, too.  High-profile figures like Ryan Reynolds, LeBron James and Will Ferrell have ventured into the football world in recent years.

The trend of celebrity investment in British football is driven by various factors, including the sport’s global appeal, lucrative financial opportunities and the celebrities’ personal passions for the game. We explore all these aspects below.

What is the global appeal of British football?

  1. Celebrity brand building

British football, particularly the English Premier League (EPL), enjoys massive global viewership, making it an attractive investment for celebrities who want to associate with a globally recognised brand. The league is broadcast in over 200 countries, reaching billions of fans worldwide. This vast audience provides celebrities with a huge platform to enhance their own visibility and influence.

For example, NBA star LeBron James purchased a stake in Liverpool FC, one of the most storied clubs in the league – so you might spot him in a Trent Alexander Arnold football shirt when he’s off the court! His involvement has not only increased his profile in the UK but also helped Liverpool gain a foothold in the American market.

  1. Lucrative financial opportunities

British football clubs generate revenue through broadcasting rights, sponsorship deals, merchandise sales and ticket sales. This financial stability and growth potential make them attractive investment opportunities. As such, celebrities see this as a chance to diversify their investment portfolios.

Actor Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney purchased Wrexham AFC, a Welsh club with a rich history. Their investment aimed to revitalise the club and capitalise on its untapped potential, both on and off the field.

  1. Personal passions

Many celebrities are passionate football fans themselves and investing in a football club allows them to combine their personal interests with business ventures. This personal connection to the sport often translates into a more engaged and enthusiastic ownership style, benefiting the club and its supporters.

Some celebrities also invest in a football club as a way of contributing to local communities. For example, it’s thought that the purchase of Wrexham FC was partly due to the impact it’d have on the working-class former mining town.

Final thoughts…

Celebrities choose to invest in British football clubs for many reasons – whether they’re drawn in by the promise of lucrative financial opportunities or personal passions.  As more celebrities recognise the benefits of investing in football, the sport is likely to become even more prominent on a global stage.