Tennis star Naomi Osaka has invested in National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) franchise North Carolina Courage.
The 23-year-old, who was named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year following her efforts on and off the court, has become the first investor in the North Carolina Courage since Steve Malik purchaser and relocated the team to North Carolina in 2017.
The club compete at the highest level in the US, the NWSL, and have been successful on the field having won six trophies in four years under current manager Paul Riley - (two NWSL Championships, three NWSL Shields, and the Women's International Champions Cup).
"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.
"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 has stated that she will play a strategic role in the club, focusing on growing the brand, promoting women's sport and tackling social issues.
Malik, who serves as the club's chairman, added: "I am thrilled to welcome Naomi as an owner of the North Carolina Courage.
"Naomi embodies the values we have been striving to cultivate at our club, and she brings an invaluable viewpoint on topics beyond sports.
"I cannot think of anyone better to help us as we continue to make a difference in our community and inspire the next generation of women."
The three-time Grand Slam champion was named by Forbes as the world's highest paid female athlete, surpassing fellow Tennis star Serena Williams.
Author: Jake Wilkin