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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mercury 13 Aims To Revolutionize Women’s Soccer With $100M Backing

  • New investment vehicle looks to capitalize on surging interest in women's soccer
  • Initial focus for the company will be outside the U.S.

Mirroring fast-growing investor enthusiasm for the WNBA and NWSL, a new group is looking to acquire women’s soccer clubs around the world.

The newly formed Mercury 13 will represent one of the first multi-club soccer ownership entities existing entirely outside the men’s game. Mercury 13 will begin with $100 million raised from European family offices and former pro soccer players.

The company — named for a group of female pilots who weren’t allowed to join NASA’s astronaut program — will be led by Victoire Cogevina Reynal, a longtime advocate for gender equity in soccer and a current VP at media company OneFootball. The group is nearing several potential deals in Europe, Bloomberg reported. 

Mercury 13 will pursue controlling stakes in teams outside of the U.S., where it sees franchise prices escalating too quickly. Recently, the Chicago Red Stars were sold in a deal worth up to $35.5 million, and the Chicago Sky took in new investors at a $85 million valuation. 

Similar Strategies

The model for Mercury 13 mirrors several investment entities that have invested broadly in men’s soccer, including 777 Partners and Eagle Football Holdings. 

Though not as common elsewhere in U.S. sports, the structure offers a means to achieve cost savings and larger revenue opportunities spanning multiple clubs and pave the way for the seamless sharing of players. However, some critics have alleged that the model curtails competition on and off the field.

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