Serena Williams’ Daughter Is Now a Part Owner of a New Women’s Soccer Franchise
Serena Williams‘ 2-year-old, Alexis Olympia is apparently diversifying her business portfolio. Williams shared on her Instagram story that her daughter with husband Alexis Ohanian will be part-owner in a forthcoming National Women’s Soccer League franchise: WFC LA/Angel City.
“Proud Owner Angel City,” reads text superimposed on the image shared by the tennis superstar, with photos of a soccer ball and her toddler. “A new era of sports & entertainment in Los Angeles.”
Serena Williams announced Alexis Olympia will be a part-owner of a new NWSL franchise.
“Building a women’s football club that lives up to its name … Angel City,” it concluded of the upcoming Los Angles-based team, which is being led, in part, by Ohanian and actress Natalie Portman. The same day as the announcement, the NWSL awarded a group led by Portman the rights to form a franchise in L.A., the second-largest sports market in the country.
While the team is set to reveal its name later this year, they are currently referred to as WFC LA/Angel City. Planning is still in its early stages, but there’s already an impressive list of names attached.
In addition to Portman, there are a number of impressive women founders.
The group of majority women founders includes venture capitalist Kara Nortman, OUYA founder Julie Uhrman, lead investor and Reddit co-founder Ohanian and actresses Uzo Aduba, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria, and Lilly Singh.
Among others, a collection of more than a dozen former women’s soccer players have also invested, including Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, and Lauren Cheney Holiday.
After meeting with players, Portman felt she should take a closer look at the NWSL.
Portman met with a number of players after being introduced by Becca Roux, the executive director of the USWNT Players Association. “We started going to games, and we quickly became really passionate fans of the sport,” the actor explained to People. “But we slowly started seeing that it wasn’t getting the celebration it deserved.”
Citing a study that found women’s sports only receive four percent of sports media coverage, the mother of two told People that she believed there was an opportunity to transform how women’s soccer is viewed in America and she knew she wanted to play a part.
“We just started thinking about, what if there was a team in L.A.? We’re the center of entertainment in this country for media,” she said. “What can we do to change the way people are paying attention to this sport? Obviously, the players themselves have been incredible and have brought so much attention, but everything hasn’t always followed their success and their popularity.”
“We started building this group, and then Alexis came on as our lead investor,” Portman explained Ohanian’s role. “Then we started gathering a group of incredible people, majority women, to be in our ownership group. Now we’re going, and it’s really, really exciting.”
Before its spring 2022 debut, the franchise has partnered with the LA84 Foundation, a nonprofit created after the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. The foundation has supported sports programs for girls and underserved people around the city; including minority communities, the physically challenged, and developmentally disabled through its Play Equity Fund.
Although Portman explained to People that she hadn’t foreseen herself in the sports business, she’s embraced the role and imagines how her team can inspire the next generation of female athletes. “I see what an important role sports have in children, in terms of what they spend their time doing and their friendships.”
Portman and the team’s founders feel building a new franchise is so important to inspire Los Angeles area youth with a team of female soccer heroes to call their own, and celebrate them they way they deserve to be.
“[We want to] expand those sports heroes — and those sports modeling behaviors — to have women in those positions, too,” Portman said. “To celebrate women at the same level as the way we celebrate male athletes is culture-shifting.”
This is great news from Portman and we’re so excited Serena Williams and Olympia are involved with this groundbreaking move.
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