35V’s investment in the NWSL club encompasses content creation, social media support, player relations, and community outreach.
Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures (35V) has joined NJ/NY Gotham FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) as minority investors in the club, the companies announced Wednesday.
The investment features additional partnership elements including content creation, social media support, player relations, and community outreach. This investment continues 35V’s commitment to women’s sports, following recent partnership deals with media network Just Women’s Sports and a strategic partnership with pro sports league Athletes Unlimited, where Durant and Kleiman serve as board members. It’s also 35V’s second investment in a professional soccer team after acquiring an ownership stake in Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union in June 2020.
“As a New York-based company, the opportunity for us to partner with a forward-thinking team like Gotham FC was a no-brainer,” said Rich Kleiman, 35V co-founder. “There’s been so much growth in the NWSL in recent years, and the chance to be a part of that growth and work directly with the Gotham FC executive team and players is really exciting.”
Founded in 2006 as Jersey Sky Blue, the club changed its name to Sky Blue FC in 2008 and was a founding member of both Women’s Professional Soccer — winning the now-defunct league’s first championship in 2009 — and the NWSL. The club changed its name to its current Gotham FC iteration in 2020 and play at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
Led by U.S. Women’s National Team stars Lloyd, Allie Long, and Midge Purce, the club reached the final of the NWSL Challenge Cup and the quarterfinals of the playoffs in 2021.
Led by a re-tooled roster adding USWNT stalwarts Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris, and Kristie Mewis to Long, Purce and Co., Gotham FC will host its first match of the 2022 season at Red Bull Arena on May 14 against Brazilian superstar Debinha and the North Carolina Courage.
“This is another big step forward for our franchise,” said Ed Nalbandian, Gotham FC’s managing owner. “Kevin and Rich are two of the most influential people in sports, and their work in the business and entertainment world and their significant investment in Gotham FC illustrates the potential of our club. They will be tremendous resources to the club across multiple areas, and we’re excited to welcome them to the Gotham FC family.”