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Report: NWSL expansion team Angel City FC valued at more than $100M

(Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The NWSL is becoming a bigger investment, with team valuations skyrocketing over the last few years.

When the Washington Spirit were bought in February by an investment group led by Michele Kang, the club was valued at $35 million. Gotham FC was valued at a $40 million this year, as Sportico reported, with investments from the likes of Kevin Durant, Sue Bird and Eli Manning.

Angel City FC, though, stands at the front of the pack. The expansion franchise raised money in April 2021 at a valuation of more than $100 million, Sportico reported Friday – more than double that of the next closest known NWSL franchise and an NWSL record.

Angel City features a stacked roster of celebrity owners, among them Serena Williams and several former USWNT stars including Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach. Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria and Jennifer Garner are also among the owners, while Williams’ husband and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is the club’s lead investor.

In total, the club boasts nearly 100 owners.

Part of what goes into the valuation is how the club has acquired and prioritized sponsorship dollars. Angel City’s deals include an eight-figure deal with DoorDash, as well as partnerships with Gatorade and Heineken. There’s also a partnership with Johnnie Walker, which included the first-ever NWSL team anthem.

According to club co-founder and president Julie Uhrman, in total Angel City reportedly claimed $35 million in booked sponsorship revenue – some possibly multi-year deals and 10 percent of which is being redirected back into the community.

“I would say that Angel City has more sponsorship revenue today than two hands worth of men’s professional sports teams,” Uhrman said at a Sportico event in March. “We believe our kit is the highest grossing of any women’s team in the U.S.”

Additionally, the club sold more than 16,000 season tickets prior to the start of the season. A total of 22,000 fans showed up in the team’s first regular season game, helping to shatter the league’s average attendance record for opening weekend.

With an average of approximately 19,000 fans per game, Angel City has the highest attendance in the NWSL this season. The club is also outdrawing 14 MLS clubs and has more followers on Instagram than 19 MLS franchises.

Valuations in the NWSL stand to increase as time goes on. Broadcast deals with CBS and Amazon’s Twitch are expiring in the next few years and with increasing viewership, the NWSL should be looking for bigger and better deals.

As the league aims to expand by two new teams by 2024, the valuations appear to also be resetting that bar as well. For the first time, there will be a formal bidding process, with Sportico reporting that sources around the league feel as though the new valuations will land in the same range as the Spirit and Gotham.

The Late Sub Podcast: Can the USWNT Medal?

The USWNT takes a silly face photo during their team Olympic photo shoot
The USWNT will begin their 2024 Olympic medal hunt on Thursday. (Brad Smith/ISI/Getty Images).

This week, JWS podcast host Claire Watkins discusses WNBA All-Star Weekend, which felt both like a celebration of the league's explosive growth over the past year and a way to set Team USA up for a particularly competitive Summer Olympics.

Later, Watkins previews the field for the upcoming Olympic soccer tournament, nominating her personal "Group of Death" and discussing whether or not the new-era USWNT could still reach medal contention despite their current rebuild under new head coach Emma Hayes.

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Team USA, Germany Play Pre-Olympic Exhibition Game in London

Team USA's 5x5 Basketball Team stands for the National Anthem before Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game
Team USA looks to rebound from Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game loss in an exhibition against Germany today. (Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

USA Basketball's 5x5 team will tip off in an exhibition against Germany in London this afternoon, getting in one last tune-up before the Summer Olympics begin.

The US is hunting an eighth-straight gold medal this year, with group stage play starting on July 29th.

Team USA's Kahleah Copper, Alyssa Thomas, Kelsey Plum, and Sabrina Ionescu gear up to face Germany in pre-Olympic exhibition.
Team USA's Kahleah Copper, Alyssa Thomas, Kelsey Plum, and Sabrina Ionescu gear up to take on Germany in London. (Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

US to use All-Star loss as fuel

Coming off the weekend's All-Star Game loss, the Olympians are ready to repeat history: They earned their Tokyo gold medal immediately after losing the first Team USA vs. Team WNBA All-Star Game back in 2021.

Breanna Stewart, who led Team USA with a 31-point, 10-rebound double-double on Saturday, said that the defeat "is going to help us tremendously. We don’t get that many game opportunities, [and now] we can go back and watch the film and focus on how we can continue to be better."

Today’s tilt against Germany will see the US work to lock in their defense, particularly in the paint. They'll also lean into their positional versatility before heading to Paris.

WNBA pro Satou Sabally leads Team Germany in today's pre-Olympic exhibition game against Team USA.
WNBA pro Satou Sabally helped Germany to their first-ever Olympic berth. (Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Olympic debutants Germany enter first US clash

The exhibition marks the first-ever US-Germany linkup. The German team will make their Olympic debut in Paris after decades of failing to qualify for major international competitions. Their sixth-place 2023 EuroBasket finish sent them into February’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where they punched their ticket to the 2024 Games.

Leading Germany's run was two-time WNBA All-Star Satou Sabally, who put up career-high averages in points, rebounds, assists, and steals with Dallas last season. Her 20-point, 11-rebound double-double was the difference-maker in Germany's must-win 73-71 Olympic qualifying victory over Brazil.

Other German players to watch include 2022 NY Liberty draft-pick — and Sabally's sister — Nyara Sabally, along with Liberty sharpshooter Leonie Fiebich.

Where to watch the Team USA vs. Germany game

Today’s exhibition tips off at 3 PM ET with live coverage on FS1.

1v1 With Kelley O’Hara: USWNT Star Jaedyn Shaw Is Expecting “Dubs All Around”

retired uswnt star kelley o'hara interviewing san diego wave and uswnt forward jaedyn shaw
'1v1' is back with Jaedyn Shaw joining Kelley O'Hara for a conversation about the upcoming Paris Olympics. (Just Women's Sports)

In the latest episode of Just Women's Sports' 1v1 With Kelley O'Hara, San Diego Wave and USWNT star Jaedyn Shaw joins two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Kelley O'Hara for a one-on-one conversation about the upcoming Paris Olympics.

We hear from the 19-year-old Wave FC phenom about her first impressions of new USWNT coach Emma Hayes, her experience with international competition at this point in her young career, and how she's preparing to take on the 2024 Summer Games.

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The 91st: Complete USWNT & Olympic Soccer Preview Featuring Jess McDonald

Logo for JWS USWNT Olympic show The 91st
The latest season of JWS' awarding-winning Olympics show 'The 91st' premieres today. (Just Women's Sports)

We're back! Hosts Jordan Angeli, Duda Pavao, and retired USWNT forward Jess McDonald deliver a full preview of this year's Olympic soccer tournament in Paris.

Watch for full analysis of USWNT manager Emma Hayes's coaching style, this team's shifting identity in this new USWNT era, and a projected starting XI for the team's group stage opener against Zambia. The 91st hosts also break down all three Olympic groups — including top players and teams to track throughout the tournament — plus give their predictions for the medal rounds and individual awards.

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