In case you missed it, The Athletic earned another bunch of money in their most recent round of funding last week. One aspect of that funding that went under the radar for people who don't necessarily care about this stuff (which is most people) is that Matthew McConaughey is one of the newest investors. A noted fan of all things Texas sports, McConaughey has made appearances on the sidelines of the University of Texas' basketball and football games.
In that same spirit, what other celebrities could be making an investment in the digital sports media game? Here are the five I think could be next.
Rudd has come to the forefront of our Twitter feeds recently because he is a die-hard Chiefs fan. He even got to bang their big drum before the AFC Championship Game, and many a scene was captured with him absolutely elated after the Chiefs made it to the Super Bowl for the first time in his 50 years on Earth. His net worth is also reportedly $70 million. Riding on the high of a successful football team for the first time in his life, Rudd is bound to make some splash purchases. Why not support the coverage of his favorite team? And the opportunity to mutter "Who would've thought? Not me," while signing on the dotted line? It just makes too much sense.
As far as I'm aware, Cruise doesn't support any sports teams to the extent Rudd does. He goes to the occasional game, sure, but he isn't on the field giggling like a kid after a playoff win. But I do know that Cruise is a weird dude who does weird stuff. This would qualify. And he did play football in high school, until he was tragically cut because he was caught drinking. No better way to stick it to his old head coach than help fund coverage of the sport he couldn't play because of rule-breaking!
Jon Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi is a personal friend of Robert Kraft's and has been to many a Patriot game and Super Bowl as his guest. Gillette Stadium goes wild whenever they play some Bon Jovi over the speaker. The Patriots are the Evil Empire of sports. What better way to expand that Evil Empire than for the Krafts to use Bon Jovi as a way to control the media narrative? He has the money after a very successful music career, and probably owes Bob a few favors. Don't blame me if this happens and we start seeing some more favorable coverage about New England's various misdeeds over the years.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z make up the biggest power couple in America that don't live in the White House, and even then they might claim the title. Jay has already made a foray into the sports world in buying (and then selling) a minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets, as well as owning his own agency to rep players. But as an advisor to the NFL, he couldn't invest in The Athletic as a clear conflict of interest. Beyoncé, on the other hand, has no such attachments. She could be partial to the site's bold strategy of a subscription-based service going against the titans of the industry, as she and her husband once did with Tidal. I can't say if Beyoncé reads much sports coverage, but it is certainly an organization on the rise, and say what you might about Queen B: She knows how to handle her money.
Jimmy Fallon/Matt Damon/Ben Affleck
I don't think any of these guys would invest individually. But as the three biggest celebrity sports fans from Boston that didn't play for a team, together they would create a powerful trio of voices within The Athletic investment community. Really, I just have them in here because I imagine they turn the accents back on when they start talking about sports, and the three getting into a passionate discussion with Athletic writers Jay King or Jeff Howe is a great mental image. So let's go with them.