From the Hollywood Hills to the Welsh countryside, and now, to a Formula 1 garage: the journeyed careers of Wrexham AFC’s new owners have taken another turn, as Renault announced today that the two actors are part of a group taking a 24% equity stake in Alpine F1 Team.
Following the conclusion of the 2022/23 season, Wrexham AFC was enjoying a story arc worthy of a Hollywood script, as new owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney made Wrexham the hottest property in the English football pyramid. Under their stewardship, movie stars such as Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Blake Lively made the journey to Wales to watch Wrexham secure promotion back into the Football League for the first time in 15 years.
And now, with back-to-back promotions in their sights, the two A-listers have targeted more sporting success – but this time under racier conditions.
“This association is an important step to enhance our performance at all levels.”Laurent Rossi, Alpine CEO
Together with Otro Capital and US investment firm RedBird – which is also an investor of the Fenway Sports Group, the owner of Liverpool FC – Reynolds and McElhenney’s company Maximum Effort Investments has pledged a €200m investment for a 24% share of the British-based but French-owned Formula 1 team, signalling a significant step into more sports ownership for this prolific duo.
Reynolds and McElhenney took over at Wrexham in November 2020, and have funded the Welsh club’s return to English National League after winning the National League title in April. Interest in this small Welsh town has sky-rocketed in recent years, with popular docu-series Welcome to Wrexham dropping on Disney+ showing a behind-the-scenes look of the Club’s first season under their new owners.
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi said: “Otro Capital, RedBird Capital Partners and Maximum Effort Investments, as international players with [a] strong track record in the sports industry, will bring their recognised expertise to boost our media and marketing strategy, essential to support our sporting performance over the long term.”
Hopefully, some of the Wrexham magic can rub off on Alpine. The Enstone-based team, which now has an all-French lineup in Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly for the 2023 season, has had a somewhat anonymous last few years in F1, having finished no higher than 4th in the championship since 2007. They’ve had a lacklustre few years for a works team… Maybe Reynolds and McElhenney could change that?
Want to know more? Well, Alpine are Australia’s worst-selling car brand.