Forbes’ Highest-Paid Female Athlete in 2020 Naomi Osaka is making a money move that aligns with her passion and vision for women, especially young girls in sports. Osaka announced on Twitter that’s she has become part-owner of a National Women’s Soccer League Team, North Carolina Courage.
The 23-year-old said the move to invest in a women’s soccer team is to honor all the women who have invested in her as a woman and a sportsperson.
“The women who have invested in me growing up made me who I am today, I don’t know where I would be without them. Throughout my career, I’ve always received so much love from my fellow female athletes so that’s why I am proud to share that I am now a owner of @TheNCCourage,” the tennis star wrote.
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The Haitian-Japanese tennis living legend comes on as the “strategic advisor” and the first investor to join Steve Malik who has owned the franchise since 2017. Osaka’s fashion sense and style will be incorporated in the team’s style decisions this year.
“We have some plans to do some really unique and cool stuff together — I plan to be involved as more of a strategic advisor on things like growing the brand, promoting women’s sports, encouraging the next generation, and tackling social issues,” Osaka explained.
Osaka’s goal is to put women’s sports throughout the country on the pedestal it deserves and the Courage seems like the best move to help her achieve her goals. According to her, they are the best fit because of their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, using their platform to call out social injustices and their success in the field.
“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.”
According to People, Osaka is overseas preparing for the Australian Open and loves the fact that young girls can now “look to professional soccer as a realistic sporting career.” Another thing that made choosing North Carolina Courage easy for Osaka was its management structure.
“I really like the people running the club from top to bottom,” she explains. “They align so closely with my values and interests — promoting women’s sports through grassroots and using the team as a platform to do good in the community.”
Per the North Carolina Courage site, Malik, the chairman of the team, is “thrilled” to welcome Osaka as co-owner. “I am thrilled to welcome Naomi as an owner of the North Carolina Courage,” said Malik. 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.”
North Carolina Courage won the NWSL championship in 2018 and 2019, topping the table and winning the play-offs in both campaigns among other impressive wins, BBC reported.