Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon and Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry are now Nashville SC owners, the MLS club’s principal owner John Ingram announced on Tuesday, five days before Nashville’s Geodis Park opens as the largest soccer stadium in the U.S.
Witherspoon, along with her husband, technology investor Jim Toth, and Henry joined the ownership group as minority owners of the club that began play in MLS in 2020. In addition to those three and Ingram, the Turner family (of Dollar General Stores fame) is also a part owner.
They’re N!We’re excited to welcome Reese Witherspoon, Jim Toth and Derrick Henry to our ownership group.
MORE: https://t.co/MkiLmA6H4f pic.twitter.com/zrMK8mJsD1
— Nashville SC (@NashvilleSC) April 26, 2022
Witherspoon, known for her work including “Legally Blonde” and recent TV series “The Morning Show” and “Little Fires Everywhere,” grew up in Tennessee and married Toth in 2011.
“As a Tennessee native, it is thrilling to see how much growth and development has come to our home state,” Witherspoon said on the Nashville SC website. “One of the things that my whole family is most excited about is Nashville Soccer Club! The opportunity to go as a family and watch a world-class team compete has been such an incredible experience.
“The team, the management and the players have worked so hard to build this amazing organization and community. So, I’m thrilled to announce that my husband, Jim Toth, and I have made an investment in the club and are now a part of the ownership group moving forward. On behalf of Jim and our children, we are thrilled to be a part of the NSC family!”
One Nashville, Under Gold! As a TN native, it’s thrilling to see how much growth has come to our home state. One thing my family is most excited about is the @NashvilleSC, which is why we’re so excited to be part of the ownership group and honored to be part of the NSC family! ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/T90WKzzIpQ— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) April 26, 2022
Henry is one of the most popular people in Tennessee as a star running back for the Titans since 2016. After winning a national championship at Alabama, the Florida native is a two-time Pro Bowler and was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2020.
“As a kid growing up in Florida, I imagined being a professional sports owner and the opportunity to do that with a Major League Soccer club is truly a dream come true,” Henry said. “My investment in Nashville SC is way more than financial, it’s truly an investment in the city of Nashville. The chance to be part of a club like Nashville SC, especially after seeing what they are accomplishing in the community, was an opportunity I did not want to miss.”
Nashville's club ⚽️
Tennessee's King @KingHenry_2 has joined the Nashville SC ownership group pic.twitter.com/fkuNHFaUDs— Nashville SC (@NashvilleSC) April 26, 2022
Witherspoon and Henry are by no means the first celebrities and athletes to buy into American soccer clubs; they join a long list of famous owners who have invested in the sport’s future.
Here’s a brief list of celebrity soccer owners in the U.S. (and Canada):
Celebrity Owners In MLS And NWSL
- Angel City FC — Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, Jessica Chastain, Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian, Mia Hamm (and many more)
- Austin FC — Matthew McConaughey
- D.C. United — Mark Ingram
- Houston Dynamo/Dash — Oscar De La Hoya, James Harden
- Inter Miami — David Beckham
- Kansas City Current — Brittany Mahomes
- LAFC — Will Ferrell, Magic Johnson, Mia Hamm, Nomar Garciaparra
- Nashville SC — Reese Witherspoon, Derrick Henry
- NC Courage — Naomi Osaka
- OL Reign — Tony Parker
- Philadelphia Union — Kevin Durant
- Real Salt Lake — Dwyane Wade
- Seattle Sounders — Drew Carey, Ken Griffey Jr., Russell Wilson, Ciara, Macklemore
- Sporting KC – Patrick Mahomes
- Vancouver Whitecaps — Steve Nash
- Washington Spirit — Jenna Bush Hager, Chelsea Clinton, Dominique Dawes, Alexander Ovechkin
Witherspoon and Henry will have their first chance to cheer their club on at the new Nashville soccer stadium on Sunday when Kevin Durant’s Philadelphia Union come to town. All 30,000 seats have already sold out for the inaugural match. For more on the new stadium and where it ranks in the U.S., click here.
A King needs his Gold pic.twitter.com/ADZWdn5MdU— Nashville SC (@NashvilleSC) April 26, 2022