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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Ripa, Consuelos Join Celebrity Soccer Team Ownership Craze

  • The Hollywood power couple has bought into small Italian side A.S.D. Campobasso 1919.
  • The club plays in the fifth tier of Italian football, and has been shuttered and refounded four times.
Matt Rizzetta/Instagram

Hollywood power couple Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos have become minority owners of Italian soccer side A.S.D. Campobasso 1919 through an investment in the club’s majority owner, North Sixth Group.

North Sixth chairman Matt Rizzetta announced the move via Instagram. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

“We bought @campobasso1919 because it was the quintessential underdog story, and there is no better underdog story in Hollywood over the past several decades than Kelly & Mark,” Rizzetta said in the post.

“We fell in love with the club’s rich history and their underdog story,” Ripa and Consuelos each said in their own respective posts. “After being so close to losing the sport they loved, we are proud to be part of Campobasso’s journey.”

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The TV host and soap opera star are just the latest non-sports celebrities to join the soccer ownership trend.

  • Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney similarly bought into a very small European club when they purchased Wrexham AFC in February 2021.
  • Matthew McConaughey and Will Ferrell are minority owners of MLS clubs Austin FC and LAFC, respectively.
  • Natalie Portman was a founding investor in NWSL side Angel City FC, and Christina Aguilera later joined as a minority owner.

Campobasso has had a checkered history in the Italian football system.

The tiny club in the Molise region of Italy reached its peak in the 1980s when it reached Serie B — the second tier of Italian football — and remained there for five seasons.

Since then, it has fallen down the hierarchy, and has been shuttered and refounded four times — most recently in 2013, before Rizzetta and North Sixth purchased full control of the club in September.

Under the new ownership, Campobasso will attempt to work its way back up from Eccellenza — the fifth tier in the system.

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