- A-list actors invest £2 million in Welsh soccer club Wrexham AFC, leading them to the Vanarama National League title
- Radical transparency and community-focused approach help build trust with local fans
- Disney+ and HBO documentary series "Welcome to Wrexham" showcases the actors' genuine commitment to the club's success
When Hollywood celebs Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney scooped up Wrexham AFC, a small Welsh soccer club chilling in the fifth tier of the English league pyramid, a lot of people raised their eyebrows. But let's be real; the dynamic duo had no clue about soccer, or football as they'd have to call it now, or even about North Wales, where the sport's third-oldest professional club resides.
Nevertheless, they completed their £2 million ($2.5 million) takeover in February 2021, and just last month, Wrexham scored the Vanarama National League title. Boom! They're heading back to the English Football League (EFL) system after a 15-year hiatus. Next year, they'll compete in the EFL League Two with a rejuvenated local fanbase, a global cult following thanks to their A-list owners, and even a hit documentary series.
Sam Hollis, head of strategy at British management consultancy FutureBrand, told CNBC how everything could've gone south. But Reynolds and McElhenney's "radical transparency" helped build trust with the community. They acknowledged that Wrexham owned the club, and they were just there to lend a helping hand.
The club's popularity skyrocketed with the Disney+ and HBO documentary series "Welcome to Wrexham." The stars of "Deadpool" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" didn't just rely on fame, but also invested time and resources to ensure the club's success. Hollis warned that copycat attempts might not work unless they're willing to put in the same level of commitment.
So, what's the takeaway? When celebs play their cards right and genuinely invest in a struggling club, they can bring about a positive change. Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney prove it's more than just star power; it's about being a true investor and supporter.
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