NBA Champion Andre Iguodala Invests in New NWSL Club Bay FC

Four-time NBA champion Andre Iguodala has joined the ownership group of Bay FC, the new expansion NWSL franchise.

Iguodala, who is an accomplished investor outside his 19-year NBA career, was announced as a minority owner Saturday afternoon at an event in San Francisco. The club, which agreed to pay a league-record $53 million expansion fee, is majority owned by private equity giant Sixth Street, with an LP list that includes former Meta executive Sheryl Sandberg and four former USWNT players—Brandi Chastain, Aly Wagner, Danielle Slaton and Leslie Osborne.

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“We’re gonna do this thing right,” Iguodala said at the event, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’ll be seeing you at many games.”

It’s unclear how large a stake Iguodala holds. A representative for the team didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The 39-year-old Iguodala, who played last year with the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, is a co-founder and general partner in Mastry Ventures. He has invested in more than 50 companies across his career, including Robinhood, Zoom, and Allbirds. He is also a minority owner of English soccer team Leeds.

Bay FC, which unveiled its name and crest earlier this week, will begin pay in the NWSL in 2024, as will the revived Utah Royals. The league is also planning to announce a new franchise in Boston, to begin play later, at a similar $53 million expansion fee, according to people familiar with the talks.

The fee shows the dramatic increase in valuations for the league. Just a few years ago, teams were paying single-digit millions to join NWSL. Now ‘tens of millions’ appears to be the baseline. In early 2022, Michelle Kang bought the Washington Spirit in a deal that valued the club at $35 million; Gotham FC raised money shortly after at a $40 million valuation.

Bay FC’s $53 million fee is only part of the investment needed to get the team off the ground. Overall, the ownership group says it plans to invest $125 million, including roughly $40 million for a practice facility and other roughly $32 million to help seed the Bay FC balance sheet.

The Bay FC expansion comes amid a shift in ownership across the league. Three other NWSL teams—the Portland Thorns, Chicago Red Stars and OL Reign (Seattle)—are currently for sale.

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