Sports Business – Naomi Osaka buys stake in Soccer Team: Three-time Grand Slam champion and social justice advocate Naomi Osaka will also be called owner of a Pro Soccer League team.Osaka announced via Twitter on Thursday that she had purchased a stake in the North Carolina Courage, one of 10 teams in the National Women’s Soccer League.
While financial terms of her investment have not been disclosed, the 23-year-old becomes the first investor to join team owner Steve Malik since he purchased the Courage and relocated them to North Carolina in 2017.
“The women who have invested in me growing up made me who I am today and I cannot think of where my life would be without them,” Osaka said in a statement.
In an interview with People, Osaka said she would serve in a strategic advisor capacity with the Courage, who won the NWSL championship in 2018 and 2019, and would focus on areas like growing the brand, promoting women’s sport, and tackling social issues.
“My investment in the North Carolina Courage is far beyond just being a team owner. It’s an investment in amazing women who are role models and leaders in their fields and inspirations to all young female athletes.
“I also admire everything the Courage does for diversity and equality in the community, which I greatly look forward to supporting and driving forward.”
Osaka, 23, is currently preparing for the Australian Open beginning Feb. 8 where she will be the No. 3 seed and one of the favorites to win that title for the second time.
Osaka, a three-time Grand Slam champion who won her second US Open title in 2020, was named by Forbes as the world’s highest-paid female athlete last year, when she was estimated to have earned around US$34 million from endorsements.
The investment in the Courage adds to her equity stakes in BodyArmor and Hyperice, and follows recent sponsorship deals with Louis Vuitton, Tag Heuer, and WorkDay.