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Giants Legend Eli Manning Joins Ownership Group for NWSL's Gotham FC

Erin WalshAugust 10, 2022

Kevin Langley/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has joined the ownership group for the National Women's Soccer League's NJ/NY Gotham FC, the club announced Wednesday.

Manning and Giants executive Pete Guelli are only the club's latest minority owners, as it added seven new investors earlier this year.

NJ/NY Gotham FC @GothamFC

A message from our newest owner.<br><br>Join <a href="https://twitter.com/EliManning?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EliManning</a> at our August 28 match against ACFC as we work to raise money and awareness for Tackle Kids Cancer – use code ELI20 for 20% off tickets!<br><br>🎟: <a href="https://t.co/Y3RTMFUi5i">https://t.co/Y3RTMFUi5i</a> <a href="https://t.co/GswgqkXYk3">pic.twitter.com/GswgqkXYk3</a>

NJ/NY Gotham FC @GothamFC

NJ/NY football 🤝 NJ/NY football <a href="https://t.co/p2aVkDoUML">pic.twitter.com/p2aVkDoUML</a>

"I have lived and worked in this community for almost two decades," Manning said in a statement. "It’s home to me, and Gotham FC is my family’s favorite soccer club. Combine that with the organization’s strong leadership, talented roster, and sustained growth, and it became clear that joining this great group was a fantastic opportunity."

Manning added, via Steve Serby of the New York Post:

“This league and this team practice 15 minutes away from my house, they play games right here in New Jersey. I wanted to support them, and the idea of taking my kids to a practice or a game. . . I have three girls. It’s a way to get involved and find role models for my girls. You put them in different things, and you want them to find things that they’re passionate about. It creates such great life lessons and work ethic and teamwork and dedication and commitment and those type of things.

“I got to do that a little bit growing up with my dad (Archie) around the Saints, and meeting some of those players and kinda be able to look up to them, so I thought it would just be great to kind of support the local teams and to have something that’s gonna be fun to be involved in to be part of the ownership and have something that my kids just enjoy the experience of it as well.”

Manning and WNBA legend Sue Bird had been rumored to be joining the Gotham FC ownership group for weeks, per Sportico's Emily Caron, Eben Novy-Williams and Scott Soshnick. The club is valued at $40 million, per Sportico, making it one of the most valuable NWSL franchises.

Manning joins a star-studded NJ/NY ownership group that includes Kevin Durant's Thirty Five Ventures and former United States Women's National Team star Carli Lloyd, who played for the club from 2018-2021.

Manning spent his entire 16-year NFL career with the New York Giants from 2004-2019, winning two Super Bowls and earning four Pro Bowl selections before announcing his retirement.

Since then, the 41-year-old has re-joined the Giants in a business operations and fan engagement role. In addition, he was part of ESPN's alternate Monday Night Football broadcast alongside his brother, Peyton Manning, dubbed the "ManningCast."

Celebrity-led ownership groups are becoming more common in the NWSL of late. Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka joined the North Carolina Courage's ownership group in 2021, and Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin joined the Washington Spirit's ownership group.

In addition, expansion team Angel City FC, new to the NWSL this season, has a number of star investors, including Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, Serena Williams, Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach and Candace Parker.

Gotham FC currently sits 11th in the NWSL standings with a 4-0-8 record. The club's next game is on Aug. 14 against sixth-place OL Reign.

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