Mercury 13 acquires England’s second-division women’s soccer team Lewes FC

August 28, 2023
On Thursday, Mercury 13, a newly formed company with a $100M women’s soccer investment fund, announced its first acquisition will be England’s second-division women’s team Lewes FC.
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Mercury 13 acquires  England’s second-division women’s soccer team Lewes FC
SOURCE: LEWESFCWOMEN/X

The GIST: A new group has entered the chat, poised to revolutionize women’s soccer. On Thursday, Mercury 13, a newly formed company with a $100M women’s soccer investment fund, announced its first acquisition will be England’s second-division women’s team Lewes FC.

  • The acquisition is thought to be the first of many as the investment fund looks to capitalize on the growing success of women’s soccer. Smart business.

The fund: Mercury 13, named after the 13 women pilots who were excluded by NASA due to their gender, is a holding company that’s launched a $100M fund (raised from European family offices and former pro soccer players) to acquire controlling stakes in women’s football clubs across Europe and Latin America. Give ’em the whole world.

The team: Mercury 13’s first acquisition is already on the right track. In 2017, Lewes FC became the first English club to pay their men’s and women’s teams equal wages — attendance and sponsorship have grown by 20x since. The numbers speak for themselves.

The trend: Reynal said the timing of the announcement was intentional. In the wake of a hugely successful WWC, the growth of the women’s game across the globe is undeniable.

  • As far as team valuations go, earlier this month, a group of Chicago businesswomen and civic leaders put in a bid for the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars that valued the club at up to $35.5M.

Zooming out: Women’s soccer continues to pay dividends. For example, when Visa became an official USWNT partner in 2019, the company saw a 2,700% increase in brand engagement and affinity in the same year, while USWNT jersey sponsor Nike also notched a 500% increase in women’s jersey sales that year.

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