The meteoric rise of Wrexham AFC in the National League hit headlines across globe following an historic season that earned promotion to the EFL League Two after a 15 year absence. But with their league success, also came worldwide social media fame and multiple sponsorships that greatly boosted their club value.
If you ever wondered what the return on investment has been for Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and fellow actor Rob McElhenney, don't fear... Today, we'll be looking at the last 2 years of Wrexham football and working out exactly what they're worth.
How much was Wrexham AFC bought for?
The two Hollywood stars became owners of the Welsh Football Club Wrexham AFC back in February 2021, taking over from the Supporter's trust for 100% control.
Before the purchase, the fans were official owners of Wrexham since 2011, That was until Reynolds and McElhenney earned 98% of the votes to go forward with the takeover.
New Wrexham owner Ryan Reynolds’ net worth, combined with his wife Blake Lively, is over $690 million. This number comes from a collection of assets that include Aviation Gin (Reynold's own gin brand) as well as their astonishing earnings from blockbuster films like Deadpool and Deadpool 2, which grossed more than $780 million & $627 million worldwide, respectively.
McElhenney also brings a net worth of $50 million to the table, made up from his various roles in TV and Film, but most notably his role as Mac in 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'.
With almost three quarters of a billion dollars to their names, the A-list actors purchased Wrexham AFC for just $2.5 million.
While that amount gained ownership of the club, the duo have since dished out plenty more to keep the club running and make the team competitive again. In any case, they have already seen a great return on investment. But just how much...?
How much is Wrexham AFC worth now?
The Red Dragons may have gained traction across multiple social media channels, but by far the biggest factor in their rise to fame is their return to the English Football League following a 15-year absence.
They won the title in true style, with a 3-1 win over Boreham Wood earning promotion to EFL 2. They will net roughly £1 million in prize money for winning the National League but there have been and will be many other boosts to their bank account.
A new 5,500-seater stand at the home field 'Racecourse Ground' will help to add value on match days, and with so many new fans, the extra seats will certainly help.
The club also landed its very own documentary, tracking their immense success and development following the new ownership, which earned more than $3.2 million in its first season. 'Welcome to Wrexham' has given the team a global reach and has already been billed for a second season which is coming soon.
But perhaps the biggest additions are sponsorship deals with Aviation American Gin, Expedia, Vistaprint and social media giant, TikTok.
Research from the Saxo investment bank concluded that the club is now worth around 300% more than the original $2.5 million paid in 2021.
Why is Wrexham AFC so popular?
Saxo investment bank's very own Anaam Raza reported on the clubs rise to fame:
After debuting on FX in the States in August 2022, it received a 97% audience score and was immediately signed for a second season. The club would have made roughly $400,000 (£321k) per hour of content for the eight-part series which equates to around $3.2m (£2.57m)... Following promotion, Wrexham’s social media accounts have been supercharged. Since the takeover, their Twitter following has grown by 1,040%, their Instagram following has increased by 3,111% and they have gone from no followers on TikTok to 1.2 million
Additionally, Raza mentioned that there has been a 3-fold increase in the number of fans purchasing season tickets. If that wasn't enough, a friendly match organised against Premier League side Manchester United during the summer, should also contribute to the club's popularity.
Despite Reynold's and McElhenney losing a reported £3 million in their first year of ownership, they've seen a huge, 404% increase in club turnover, which now sits at the £6 million mark.
Taking into account the dramatic financial and league success of the club, Raza believes the actor-turned-owners could already sell the club at a huge profit:
The Hollywood duo could quite easily walk away at this point by sanctioning a sale of Wrexham nearing the $10 million (£8m) mark and make a 300% increase on their initial investment based on the trajectory and worldwide notoriety of the club.
The Future of Wrexham AFC
Of course, none of us can predict the future, but there's nothing to say that the Welsh side couldn't succeed in the EFL and even seek a second promotion within the coming years.
Not only did they shock the world with this season's impressive National League run, they also reached the fourth round of the 2023 FA Cup. They eventually lost to Sheffield United 3-1 after a pair of surprising stoppage-time goals.
The club has the potential to build global support that would be worthy of any premier league side and they might just get there.
If they can continue their current form, there's no reason they can't find success in both tiers of the EFL and produce many more game-winning moments like these for their new owners and loyal fanbase.
Rob and I kinda blacked out during this moment, but somehow we’ll never forget it.— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) April 23, 2023
🎥: Paul Rudd
cc: @wrexham_afc - @RMcElhenney pic.twitter.com/pVCYOHyKoC
The popularity of sports-club investments is growing worldwide and the success story of Wrexham AFC is just one example in a sea of instances, where small investments lead to immense profits.
How do you think Wrexham will fare in the EFL? Is instant demotion on the horizon? Will Reynolds and McElhenney take their profits and run? Or will we see the Red Dragons in the Premier League someday?
Let us know your thoughts over on Twitter & Instagram.
(Header Image Credit: MarkBarnes)