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Monday, June 24, 2024

Sue Bird, Eli Manning Bring Gotham FC to $40M Valuation

  • Sue Bird and Eli Manning have joined Gotham FC as investors.
  • The investment puts the NWSL team at a reported $40 million valuation.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Gotham FC has reportedly set a new record for the NWSL by hitting a $40 million valuation.

Sue Bird and Eli Manning have joined USWNT legend Carli Lloyd, Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and wife Tammy Murphy as investors. 

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Bird’s deal reportedly requires her to serve as an advisor to the NJ/NY team.

  • Bird, who will retire from the WNBA at the end of the season after playing 19 seasons for the Seattle Storm, is a New York native.
  • Manning retired following the NFL’s 2019 season after 16 seasons as a New York Giants quarterback. He rejoined the team last June with a role in business operations and fan engagement.

Gotham FC isn’t Bird’s first investment. The five-time gold medalist has a stake in fitness equipment maker Tonal — which reached a $1.6 billion valuation last year — and co-owns media production company Togethxr with Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim, and Simone Manuel. 

Manning is a partner of private equity firm Brand Velocity Group.

League Love

Other NWSL teams also have high-profile athlete investors. Angel City FC’s ownership group includes Abby Wambach, Mia Hamm, and Serena Williams, while Naomi Osaka is an investor in the North Carolina Courage.

The NWSL has rights deals with Amazon and CBS until 2024, reportedly worth $2.5 million. The league’s first collective bargaining agreement was struck earlier this year, which calls for a $100 million investment by team owners.

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