NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. now owns a stake in Mexican soccer’s Club Necaxa and Major League Pickleball’s expansion franchise in Washington D.C., according to multiple people familiar with the deal.
Beckham bought into the investor group led by Americans Al Tylis and Sam Porter. The group, which fully owns the D.C. pickleball team, purchased a 50% stake in Necaxa at a valuation in the low nine figures at the end of 2021. The soccer club, based in Aguascalientes, was valued at $150 million in 2021 when it sold a 1% equity stake for $1.5 million via NFT; currently the club is valued in the mid- to low-$200 million range.
A representative for Club Necaxa and D.C. Pickleball did not respond to Sportico’s request for comment.
Beckham joins a plethora of famous investors in the Tylis-Porter group, including Eva Longoria, Justin Verlander, Kate Upton, and Turkish-German soccer player Mesut Ozil.
Last February, retired pro basketball player Matt Walsh, Card Sound Capital managing partner Jake Jackson and music entrepreneur Nick Gross joined the Mexican team as investors. The remaining 50% belongs to prominent Mexican businessman Ernesto Tinajero, who bought the club in 2014.
Beckham is a soccer aficionado; when he was 12 years old, he played for Carrollton Association Soccer in New Orleans.
Liga MX is the most-watched soccer league in the United States, with 18 first-division teams that are led in popularity by Club America and Chivas. During the pandemic, the league temporarily suspended relegation to the lower division and increased cooperation with Major League Soccer.
In its 99-year history, Necaxa has won the Mexican league title three times (1995, 1996 and 1998) and is currently 14th in the standings.