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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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English Soccer Captain Leah Williamson Scores Stake in TOCA Football 

  • The soccer training and entertainment company is building a Topgolf-for-soccer concept.
  • Williamson joins fellow English soccer star Harry Kane and MLS as shareholders in TOCA.
Leah Williamson joins MLS and Harry Kane as equity holders in TOCA.
Courtesy of TOCA Football

England women’s national team soccer captain Leah Williamson has acquired an equity stake in TOCA Football, North America’s largest operator of indoor soccer facilities.

Williamson, who also plays for Arsenal in the Women’s Super League, joins England men’s national team captain Harry Kane as an investor in TOCA, which has raised $105 million in total funding since being founded in 2016 by former USMNT and MLS midfielder Eddie Lewis.

The company also operates TOCA Social, an interactive soccer-themed entertainment venue that blends dining and gaming in the mold of Topgolf. TOCA Social’s first venue opened in August 2021 at The O2 in London, and a second England location is coming to Birmingham. More than 300,000 guests visited TOCA’s London venue in its first year. 

“TOCA Social has often been compared to Topgolf by others and I can definitely see why,” Lewis told Front Office Sports. “Both concepts are based on friends and families enjoying sport in an accessible and fun way, while being able to enjoy some great food and drink. Topgolf is well established and it would be great to emulate their success, but given soccer has 4 billion fans globally, we believe TOCA can be even more impactful globally.”  

A TOCA Social venue is slated to open in Dallas this year. Westriver Group, a lead investor in Topgolf, invested in TOCA’s $40 million Series E in 2021.

The company plans to open 20 U.K. venues in the next 10 years and another 20 in Mexico in partnership with Ventura Entertainment. The first TOCA Social franchise in Mexico will open this year in Monterrey, with seven additional Mexican sites planned to open before the 2026 World Cup being held across Mexico, the U.S., and Canada. 

TOCA currently operates roughly 30 soccer training centers in the U.S. and Canada. The company signed a 10-year contract with MLS last year to become the league’s official training and entertainment facility partner. MLS became a shareholder in TOCA as part of the deal, which will focus on developing youth soccer players across North America.

USWNT legend Abby Wambach is on TOCA’s board of directors, as is NWSL chief marketing officer Julie Haddon, Lululemon Americas president Celeste Burgoyne, and former Topgolf Entertainment Group CEO Eric Anderson. 

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