• Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Sheryl Sandberg leans into pro women’s soccer in Silicon Valley


Apr 4, 2023
Sheryl Sandberg leans into pro women's soccer in Silicon Valley


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Sheryl Sandberg and her spouse are investing in a new National Women’s Soccer League staff in Silicon Valley.

Sandberg, founder of Lean In.Org and former COO of Fb (Meta), and Tom Bernthal are strategic investors in the club and Sandberg will serve on the board. The club will be primarily based in the San Francisco Bay Space but the exact town hasn’t been named however.

The NWSL awarded growth rights for staff No. 14 to an investment team symbolizing the location. Northern California has been a crucial generator of women’s soccer talent all over the heritage of the sport, and the Bay Space is a leading-ten media market acknowledged for its numerous tradition and vivid ecosystem of creative imagination and innovation. The new club will get started to perform in 2024.

Sandberg is a billionaire and her involvement in the club follows a common pattern of effective tech executives investing in sports activities groups. But in this circumstance, it’s notable that it is a woman investing in a women’s league — one thing really new for a male-dominated location like Silicon Valley.


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Today’s announcement follows the latest growth announcement of the Utah Royals as staff No. 13, also commencing participate in in 2024. With the newly extra duo, the NWSL now involves 14 member golf equipment, just about doubling the league’s footprint considering that commencing operations in 2012.

“The quantity of bids and the increase in the league’s enlargement charges are indicative of the two the need that exists for women’s soccer in the expert sporting activities landscape and the validated progress trajectory of our league,” mentioned NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman, in a assertion. “We said at the commence of the expansion process in July 2022 that we would be intentional in trying to get out potent markets and ownership groups that not only had the structural integrity for our league to prosper but also shown a legitimate determination to investing in and creating initially-level companies on and off the pitch. I am assured that this possession team and industry will assistance us deliver on the league’s continued transformative progress and results and glance ahead to viewing the Bay Region club kick off in 2024.”

The new Bay Location club’s greater part trader is Sixth Street, a major international investment decision firm with deep working experience in sports which include investments with Serious Madrid, FC Barcelona, and the San Antonio Spurs.

The business is also partnered with the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys via its majority financial commitment in Legends, a worldwide sports activities and dwell location expertise enterprise.

Sixth Road is building the major institutional investment decision in women’s qualified soccer to date as the NWSL experiences document-breaking viewership, attendance, and sponsorship growth.

Sixth Road has partnered with four former U.S. Women’s National Workforce players in Brandi Chastain, Leslie Osborne, Danielle Slaton, and Aly Wagner, who initially introduced the effort to carry an NWSL expansion staff to the Bay Space with the assist of women executives and group leaders from throughout the Bay.

As the club’s Founding Football 4, they will be represented on the club’s the greater part gals board and will get the job done together with Sixth Avenue in placing the team’s strategic direction.

“We want to thank Commissioner Berman and the NWSL Board for their endorsement and their partnership throughout this course of action,” mentioned Alan Waxman, CEO of Sixth Avenue, in a assertion. “We are grateful for the possibility to husband or wife with this famous group, who are lifelong part types to a generation of ladies, and we look forward to operating with them to develop a championship franchise on and off the industry. We believe that that a lot of several years from now we will appear back again at nowadays as a landmark moment in Bay Place sports activities background, and a turning issue for massive-scale expenditure in women’s sporting activities.”

“We take pleasure in just about every and every single a person of the thousands of men and women who have supported us by means of this process and served us get to this critical day, and to Sixth Street for stepping up to consider this club to the next stage,” said Aly Wagner, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Club, Santa Clara ’02, two-time Olympic gold medalist, NCAA National Winner, and the initially female broadcaster to get in touch with a FIFA Men’s Globe Cup match. “As lifelong inhabitants of the Bay Region, we know how crucial women’s soccer is to our region and we are going to operate difficult every working day to guarantee that this is a club that just about every participant, supporter, and lover will be very pleased of. We can not wait to get begun.”

Sixth Avenue CEO Alan Waxman will serve on the NWSL’s board of governors and Wagner will provide as the different governor. Waxman and Wagner will co-chair the club’s board.

“The Bay Spot is where this all commenced,” claimed Brandi Chastain, cofounder of the club and two-time FIFA Planet Cup champion, and two-time Olympic gold medalist, in a statement.

“We are as enthusiastic about what this club will reach on the area of engage in as we are for what it will depict for generations of ladies athletes and pros however to come,” Chastain reported. “We seem forward to the Bay enthusiasts embracing our group and celebrating the competitive spirit and expertise we will place on to the field to continue on the solid Bay custom of playing to gain championships.”

Specified the powerful link in between women’s sporting activities and leadership, Sandberg and Bernthal will associate with the club to build leadership systems that empower ladies and ladies and provide assets to sports activities and youth systems in underserved communities throughout the Bay Spot.

“Tom and I are so excited to join Alan, David Stiepleman, and the whole Sixth Street team together with a powerhouse team of soccer legends to convey this club to our hometown,” said Sandberg, in a statement. “Playing athletics is these types of an essential element of establishing upcoming leadership expertise especially for females and ladies. We are likely to merge globe-course resources with a management method that will create good gamers and wonderful leaders, on and off the pitch.”

The club’s board will also contain Rick Welts, revolutionary sports activities small business govt who most not long ago served as COO of the Golden Point out Warriors. Welts’ career achievements incorporate 4 NBA and two WNBA championships and the generation of both equally NBA All-Star Weekend and the internet marketing plan for Usa Basketball’s Olympic “Dream Crew.”

The board will also consist of Staci Slaughter, previous government vice president and senior advisor to the CEO of the 3-time Environment Sequence Winner San Francisco Giants.

The Bay Spot trader team has fully commited to important infrastructure investments to guidance the club’s development and functions, including making a point out-of-the art schooling location in a to-be-declared spot. The club is also in the procedure of choosing front-business office positions with the target of delivering a entire world-course working experience for NWSL gamers as industry experts on and off the industry.

The NWSL continues to be engaged in the expansion approach with an eye toward including teams No. 15 and No. 16. Interior Circle Athletics carries on to represent and suggest the league on growth matters.

The NWSL opened its 11th calendar year of enjoy on March 25, and ongoing its latest achievement, breaking opening day attendance information for a solitary match at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego and the league-large attendance history in excess of the program of the opening weekend.

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