Natalie Portman, businesswomen, athletes and other celebrities, acquired the franchise of the new Los Angeles women's soccer team.
The actress, with other celebrities, acquired the franchise of the new women's soccer team in Los Angeles. / Photo: instagram.com/natalieportman
The Woman Post | Maria Lourdes Zimmermann
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The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) recently announced that a women's group led by Oscar-winning actress and activist Natalie Portman, tech venture capitalist Kara Nortman, video game and media entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, and tech entrepreneur and Venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian, who led the investment through his firm Initialized Capital, has secured the exclusive right to bring a professional women's soccer team to Los Angeles to play in the spring of 2022.
While the official team name and venue partner will be announced before the end of the year, the group has been formally coined "Angel City" in honor of their intended home in Los Angeles.
Led by consortium president Julie Uhrman, the founding investment group includes Serena Williams and her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr., actors Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria, the host of TV shows late-night interviews Lilly Singh, former US Women's National Team Players, including twelve representing Southern California including Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Rachel Buehler among other celebrities from the world of business, sports and entertainment.
"Today we take an exciting step by announcing the first women-owned and led group," said founder Natalie Portman.
“I am excited for the opportunity to partner with this incredible group of people to bring a professional women's soccer team to Los Angeles. Together, our goal is to build not only a winning team on the field, but also to develop a passionately loyal fan base. We also hope to have a substantial impact in our community by committing to expanding access to sports for youth in Los Angeles through our relationship with the LA84 Foundation. Sports are such a joyous way to bring people together, and this has the power to bring tangible change for female athletes both in our community and in the professional sphere. "
In response to fan-driven demand for an NWSL team in the region and inspiration from USWNT 2019 performance on and off the field, the founders undertook the effort to secure the group's rights: “We take this as an opportunity to hear, speak with players, union representatives, presidents and owners to develop an entirely new manual on how to build a professional sports team where mission and capital, entertainment and sport are equally important, ” said founder Kara Nortman.
“The NWSL growth trajectory is incredibly exciting, but we must also be strategic and thoughtful about how quickly we are expanding and the communities we partner with,” said NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird. “We have long sought the right partner in Los Angeles considering the NWSL fan base that already exists in the region and the massive interest in women's soccer in general. Those factors, along with an incredible group of owners, make this an ideal situation and we couldn't be more excited to move forward. "
“I am proud to be a part of this wonderful group working to bring a professional women's soccer club to Los Angeles,” said Alexis Ohanian, Principal Founding Investor. “Mainly because I am a fan of the game, but also because I think there is enormous potential for the sport and it has been underestimated by too many people for too long. As someone who spends hours playing soccer with my two-year-old daughter, I want her to have a front row seat to this revolution. Personally, I am investing on behalf of my family because creating more opportunities in women's sports is important to my wife and me, and we want to be part of making a better future for our daughter. "
The founders are excited about the opportunity to work with the NWSL to build a club from the ground up, do things differently, and drive greater dialogue about issues affecting the Los Angeles community, as well as those that have negatively impacted the women's sport for decades.
The founders and owners also understand the role sport can play in helping amplify critically important issues in our society, from social justice to gender equity, equal access to sport and more.