The Chicago Red Stars on Monday announced the addition of 14 new members to the team’s ownership group, a move which follows the recent expansion of several team ownership groups across the National Women’s Soccer League and, the club says, solidifies its presence in Chicago for the long-term.
Local connections are a theme throughout the group, which includes Olympic gold-medalist Kendall Coyne Schofield, ESPN journalist Sarah Spain and music executive Colleen Mares. Founding investors Arnim Whisler, Dean Egerter and Steve Ritchie remain in place, with Whisler maintaining his majority ownership.
“We are pleased to welcome this powerhouse group,” Whisler said in a statement. “We’ve already shown we can consistently excel in the NWSL, the top league in the world, but we have our sights set on a bigger impact in Chicago and on the international stage.”
Names of the new investors should be highly recognizable to Chicagoans, even if they aren’t quite the celebrity level — inside and outside the sport — of Angel City FC’s 60-plus-person ownership group. The Washington Spirit also recently added over two dozen investors of local and national notoriety, and the North Carolina Courage group began expanding their ownership group with tennis superstar Naomi Osaka.
Chicago’s press release listed the 14 new names announced on Monday as “the first members of its groundbreaking ownership group,” suggesting further news. The full list announced Monday is as follows:
- Jessie Becker — Impossible Foods marketing executive
- Dean Egerter (founding member)
- Julie Haddon — NFL SVP global brand & consumer marketing
- Israel Idonije — former NFL player
- Jordan Levin
- Abel Lezcano
- Colleen Mares — music executive
- Michael Raimondi
- Steve Ritchie (founding member)
- Kendall Coyne Schofield — Olympic gold-medal hockey player
- Michael Schofield — NFL offensive guard
- Sarah Spain — ESPN journalist
- Marie Tillman — local entrepreneur
- Brian Walsh — The Walsh Group
- Arnim Whisler (founding member)
- Kevin Willer — Chicago Ventures
- David M. Zapata — CEO, Zapwater Communications
Introducing the newest caretakers of this team – they are owners, fans, community members, dreamers, builders, movers, growers, and more broad shoulders to stand upon. It’s a Chicago thing.
— Chicago Red Stars (@chicagoredstars) March 1, 2021
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