By David Villafranca
Los Angeles, June 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 – also own football clubs.
In recent years, celebrities have paid more attention to business opportunities and investments, and the football industry has enticed many people to venture into the sports business.
Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey is a minority owner of Austin FC, while Will Ferrell bought a stake in Los Angeles FC and Ryan Reynolds bought Wrexham AFC, a Welsh National League Vanarama team, the British Fifth Division.
Actresses Natalie Portman and Eva Longoria – along with other female celebrities – have invested in aspiring women’s football club Angel City FC, which will make its competitive debut in 2022.
But celebrity interest in football may extend beyond their love for the game, according to Eric Johnson, faculty director at UCLA Anderson Center for Media, Entertainment and Sports.
Even though football is the biggest sport in the world, it has not and will not enter the US market, and that is why celebrities choose to invest in American football clubs over NBA teams or NFL established, according to Johnson.
“It’s a pragmatic investment,” he said.
With a small financial commitment, Hollywood stars can both own football clubs and strengthen their international brand, Johnson believes.