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NFL Legend Tom Brady Becomes Minority Owner of Premier League Hopefuls Birmingham City
The iconic quarterback is investing in Birmingham City, currently competing in England’s second-tier Championship.
Seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and the undisputed GOAT of the NFL is having one hell of an “offseason.”
While retirement may have gotten off to shaky start for the man with the golden arm after his divorce from Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, the former New England Patriot and Tampa Bay Buccaneer is turning that frown upside down by, among other things, expanding his portfolio into sports ownership.
In the spring, Brady joined Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis in overseeing the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces, according to NBC Sports. Then, came word that Brady and Davis had negotiated a minority stake in the Raiders themselves. And, just a fortnight ago, he joined tennis superstar Rafael Nadal and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba to become the newest celebrity owner in the E1 World Championship, a new electric race boat series that is set to make wake next year in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
And that still wasn't enough to slake Brady's entrepreneurial thirst, it seems. He's now joining Birmingham City, a soccer club in England’s second-tier Championship, as a minority owner as well.
According to the club’s statement posted on Twitter which was announced on the GOAT’s 46th birthday, Brady’s partnership with the team’s ownership group, Knighthead Capital Management LLC, will see the California native "apply his extensive leadership experience and expertise across several components of the club, including working alongside the sports science department to advise on health, nutrition, wellness and recovery systems and programs."
The news comes hot on the heels of another NFL legend turning his sights on the "other" football: three-time NFL defensive player of the year, J.J. Watt. The former Houston Texan and Arizona Cardinal announced that he became a minority investor in Premier League side Burnley back in May.
"So, here's the deal, I'm officially coming on board at Birmingham City Football Club," announced Brady. "And maybe you're asking what do you know about English football, Tom? Well, let's just say I've got a lot to learn. But I do know a few things about winning, and I think they may translate pretty well.”
"I know success starts with the work put in when the world isn't watching,” continued Brady. “I know a team is nothing without the city that shows up and stands behind it. Most importantly, I know I like being the underdog. The road's been long for Birmingham, but these fans have never stopped believing.”
"I'll see you at St Andrew's soon. It's time to get to work.”
Brady isn’t the only new addition to Birmingham. Since the new owners’ takeover on May 8, according to ESPN, former Manchester City chief Garry Cook has stepped into the role of the club’s new CEO, and ex-England manager Hope Powell has been tapped to be the women’s technical director.
In addition to Brady bringing his decades worth of success on the gridiron, the five-time Super Bowl MVP is a bona fide box-office draw on whatever continent he steps foot on. Thus, the intent is for Brady to also lend his marketing expertise to generate more commercial opportunities for the club on a global level.
"Tom Brady joining the Birmingham City team is a statement of intent,” noted Tom Wagner, chairman of Birmingham's board. “We are setting the bar at world class. Tom is both investing and committing his time and extensive expertise. As Chair of the Advisory Board Tom will have a direct impact on the Club.”
"The Men's, Women's and Academy teams are going to benefit from the knowledge,” add Wagner. “The goal that Tom has committed to own is to make Birmingham City a respected leader in nutrition, health, wellness and recovery across the world of football."
Last season, Birmingham finished 17th in the second division out of 24 teams. While a record of 14 wins, 11 draws and 21 losses is underwhelming to say the least, Brady seeks to make that a just a distant memory of the past.
"Birmingham City is an iconic club with so much history and passion and to be part of the Blues is a real honor for me,” gushed Brady. “BCFC is built on teamwork and determination, and I'm excited to work alongside the board, management and players to make our Second City club second to none.”
"I've been part of some amazing teams in my day, and I'm looking forward to applying my perspective to create that same success here in Birmingham."
Birmingham last played in the Premier League in 2010-2011. All eyes are on whether Brady and company can help them return to the top flight.