Natalie Portman is among a group that was given exclusive rights to bring a professional women’s soccer team to Los Angeles in spring 2022, according to the National Women’s Soccer League.
“Today we take an exciting step by announcing the first women majority-owned and led ownership group,” shared Portman in a statement released by the league on Tuesday. “I am thrilled by the opportunity to partner with this incredible group of people to bring a professional women’s soccer team to Los Angeles.”
The association — unofficially named Angel City — was also led by entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, its president, venture capitalist Kara Nortman and Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian with help from his firm, Initialized Capital.
For his part, Ohanian shared: “As someone who spends hours kicking around a football with my two-year-old daughter, I want her to have a front-row seat to this revolution.”
The toddler, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., is in fact listed as a founding investor, as is her mother and tennis star Serena Williams. Other backers include Hollywood actresses Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria, as well as late-night talk-show host Lilly Singh and 12 former U.S. Women’s National Team players, including Lauren Cheney Holiday and Abby Wambach.
While building the club, the team is looking to address issues affecting the L.A. community and women’s sports. A partnership was created with the nonprofit LA84 Foundation to support its play equity fund, which provides opportunity and access for all kids in L.A.
“We took this as an opportunity to listen, talk to players, union reps, presidents and owners to develop a totally new playbook of how to build a professional sports team where mission and capital, entertainment and sport, were equally important,” announced Nortman.