NJ/NY Gotham FC Friday announced that four-time WNBA champion Sue Bird has become a minority investor in the National Women’s Soccer League franchise.
She joined an ownership group that includes founding owners Tammy Murphy, Phil Murphy, and Steve Temares, as well as investors Karen Bryant, Kristin Bernert, Carli Lloyd, Ed Nalbandian, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s 35V.
Bird already has a connection to the NWSL. She is the partner of U.S. women’s national team and OL Reign standout Megan Rapinoe.
“As the NWSL franchise in New York, investing in Gotham FC was an easy decision,” Bird said in a statement. “The club has demonstrated sustained business growth and is established as a critical pillar in the community. There is a lot of talk about the power of investing in women’s sports. As an athlete in a position to invest, I’m excited to now lead by example. I am honored to join such a strong ownership group and look forward to the continued business growth and brand recognition for both Gotham FC and the NWSL.”
Bird has a proven track record of success across her career. Her resume includes five Olympic gold medals, four Women’s National Basketball Association championships, four FIBA World Cups, five EuroLeague Women championships and two NCAA championships.
She has been selected to 13 WNBA All-Star teams, eight All-WNBA teams and recently was voted into the W25 as one of the WNBA’s top 25 players of all-time. A 2002 alumnus of the University of Connecticut, Bird was drafted first overall by the Seattle Storm in the 2002 WNBA Draft. In June, Bird announced her upcoming retirement from her WNBA playing career at the conclusion of the 2022 season.
“Sue has played such a big role in shaping today’s WNBA and bringing it to the forefront in so many important cultural conversations,” club chair Tammy Murphy said in a statement. “She’s shown tremendous leadership, passion, and work ethic throughout her legendary career, and I cannot wait for her to bring those qualities to Gotham FC.”
As an owner, Bird will act as a consultant and advisor to boost the club’s profile in local, national, and international markets. She will also collaborate with Murphy, managing owner Ed Nalbandian, and club leadership on a variety of club initiatives to promote the club and support its players and community.
“Sue has won at every level of the game, and I have had the privilege of a front row seat to her impact on and off the court,” Gotham FC managing owner Karen Bryant said in a statement. “She is an iconic athlete and an inspirational leader. I’m excited to work with her and we are all so proud to have her join the Gotham FC family.”