Mercury 13: $100M Investment in Women's Soccer Clubs
Mercury 13, an initiative spearheaded by sports entrepreneur Victoire Cogevina Reynal, has revealed plans to invest a substantial $100 million in the acquisition of women's soccer clubs across Europe and Latin America. The venture's initial focus will be on Lewes FC, a team competing in England's second division.
This visionary group is composed of esteemed former players, including Eni Aluko, a former England forward who has also held roles as sporting director for Aston Villa and Angel City. Another notable member is Arianna Criscione, an ex-Italy goalkeeper. Joining the lineup are seasoned professionals like Luis Vicente, the former Chief Innovation Officer of FIFA, and Nancy Hensley, previously renowned for her role as Chief of Product and Marketing at Stats Perform.
Lewes FC currently participates in the FA Women's Championship, positioning them one tier below the renowned Women's Super League within England's football hierarchy. Impressively, they advanced to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup last season, a notable feat although they were ultimately defeated by the eventual runners-up, Manchester United.
The club garnered attention in 2017 for pioneering an equitable distribution of financial resources between their men's and women's teams—an approach that reflects their commitment to principles cherished by Mercury 13.
Cogevina underlined the rationale behind selecting Lewes FC for their inaugural investment: "Lewes was a clear choice since they represent many core principles of how we believe a women's club should be managed," she stated in a release on Thursday. Her initial priority has been to assemble a world-class management team and advisory board. She recognized a dearth of dedicated female football executives capable of elevating the sport's business aspects and transforming it into a premier asset class for this generation.
The ambitious group has not limited its aspirations to Lewes FC. They are currently engaged in advanced negotiations to acquire first division teams in Spain and Italy. Beyond that, their sights are set on clubs in Argentina and Uruguay as their next strategic targets.
This announcement arrives on the heels of the Women's World Cup's unprecedented success. The tournament's final drew record-breaking television viewership numbers for women's football in both Spain and England. Furthermore, the ninth edition of the competition achieved an all-time high attendance record, attracting nearly two million fans to stadiums in Australia and New Zealand.