Entertainment

Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney Buy Stake in Mexico’s Club Necaxa Team

Stars of “Deadpool” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” join investors Eva Longoria, Al Tylis and Sam Porter as industry insiders flock to beloved sports franchises with untapped potential.

After helping transform a football team and a town in Wales, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have set their sights on central Mexico as the next place to invest in a beloved local sports franchise.

Reynolds and McElhenney acquired a stake in Club Necaxa, the century-old Mexican soccer club that also counts Eva Longoria among its owners. The duo will work with Longoria and fellow investors Al Tylis and Sam Porter to improve Club Necaxa’s position and increase its profile in international sporting circles at a time of increased demand for football television and streaming content. It is understood that Longoria, the multi-Mexican American, was instrumental in bringing Reynolds and McElhenney into the investor group.

Reynolds, the “Deadpool” star who has a strong background as an investor and entrepreneur, and McElhenney, the multi-hyphenate comedy writer known for his offbeat comedies “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Mythic Quest”, made this investment thanks to their Company RR McReynolds, owner of Wrexham AFC. Reynolds and McElhenney are chairmen of the Wrexham board. It is unclear what role they will play in the management of Club Necaxa.

The Reynolds-McElhenney connection raises the prospect of Club Necaxa being the focal point of a ‘Welcome to Wrexham’-style television documentary series, which put the legendary Welsh club on the pop culture map. The FX series, which begins its third season on May 2, chronicles the revitalization of the struggling city that accompanied the influx of capital for the legendary team, which is one of the oldest soccer clubs in the world but was going through difficult times. Season 2 of “Welcome to Wrexham” won five Emmy Awards for 2023, including the trophy for Best Unstructured Reality Show.

Sources close to the matter stressed that speculation about a Club Necaxa documentary series or other television properties is premature as no agreements are in place with the team for such projects. New investors must still find television access based on the team’s existing rights pacts. Longoria’s Hyphenate Media group would likely be involved in any content coming from the club, as would Reynolds and McElhenney’s banners.

Reynolds-McElhenney’s investment in Club Necaxa shows how media deals and pop culture promotion strategies are crucial to breathing new life into sports franchises. High-wattage celebrity connections are increasingly important for sports franchises, old and new. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming platforms with global reach are helping to grow the international fan base of foreign teams that were once out of reach for most American viewers.

Unlike Wrexham, Club Necaxa has remained a top franchise in Mexico, but the team’s most recent heyday was in the 1990s. Longoria, Tylis and Porter purchased their stake in the club in 2021. Reynolds and McElhenney surprised industry observers when they agreed a $2.5 million deal to take over Wrexham in November 2020.

Club Necaxa is based in Aguascalientes, in north-central Mexico. The size of RR McReynolds’ stake is unclear. This is a minority stake but considered “significant” in size by a source close to the matter. Representatives for Reynolds, Longoria and FX declined to comment for this story.

Club Necaxa was valued at nine figures in 2021, when a group led by Tylis and Porter and including Longoria purchased approximately 50% of the franchise from the Tinajero family. Other investors joined subsequently, including a 2022 funding round that valued the team at more than $200 million.

Tylis, a former real estate agent who became an active investor in sports and media through his Tylis Family Foundation, is co-president of Club Necaxa. Porter, previously a leading agent at Exclusive Sports Group, is a board member of Club Necaxa and the Swansea City football team in Wales.

Liga MX is by far the most-watched soccer league in the United States, ahead of MLS, La Liga and the English Premier League, but its teams trade at a much lower price than its MLS counterparts. This is partly due to structural differences, mainly because the league does not sell its commercial rights as a unified group, allowing the most popular teams like Chivas and Club América to hold most of the money of the market. There have been efforts to change this structure in recent years, along with the temporary suspension of relegation to lower leagues and a greater commitment to financial transparency.
That said, investors see opportunity beyond the current TV audience.

Mexico is a nation of about 130 million people, one of the 10 most populous countries in the world, and there are an additional 37.2 million Hispanics of Mexican origin in the United States, according to figures of 2021 from the Pew Research Center. MLS has discussed a possible merger with Liga MX in the past and recently launched the Leagues Cup, contested annually between teams from the two countries.

(Pictured: Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney and Eva Longoria)

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News Source : variety.com

Eleon

With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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