Rapper and record executive Yo Gotti has become one of the new minority owners of Major League Soccer club D.C. United. The other three new minority owners are former Houston Dynamo FC owner Jake Silverstein, who is also the co-owner of English soccer side Swansea City, Adam Gerry, CEO of Granite Associates, Inc., and D.C. gas station magnate Joe Mamo.
Multiple award-winning hip hop star Yo Gotti, born Mario Mims, reportedly bought a little over 1% stake in the club said to be valued at $730 million, according to Sportico. The purchase makes him the second celebrity to buy a stake in one of America’s most prestigious soccer clubs.
“I was introduced to the game by my son and watched how quickly it has grown in our country, so I’m honored to join the D.C. United ownership group,” Yo Gotti said in a statement released by D.C. United.
“I’ve long admired [D.C. United co-chairmen] Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan’s ambition and entrepreneurship and look forward to collaborating with them – and the entire ownership group – to further elevate D.C. United’s commitment to connecting soccer, entertainment, community, and culture. Together, we’re going to enhance fan experience and bring new and exciting events to Audi Field.”
Gotti, from Nashville, Tennessee, rose to fame after releasing hit singles such as ‘Down in the DM’ (2016) and ‘Rake it Up’ (2017). He is the founder of Collective Music Group and also behind the signings of some bright rappers such as Moneybagg Yo and 42 Dugg.
According to Sportico, the investment has been largely seen as a wider plan to make Audi Field, the team’s new stadium, a destination for more than just sports.
Mamo, who is among the other newly anointed minority owners of the club, is a native of Ethiopia. He moved to D.C. in 1987. Through his company Capitol Petroleum Group, he currently owns about a quarter of the area’s station, according to the statement by D.C. United.
“Soccer has been a part of my family for several decades. My father owned a team in Ethiopia for many years and the opportunity to do the same here in Washington, D.C. — the place I call home — is great for me and my family,” said Mamo. “Soccer is the most popular sport to the Ethiopian community and I look forward to bringing the greater Ethiopian and African population within the District closer to the game we all love and to D.C. United.”
Aside from Gotti, there are other celebrity investors in the Major Soccer League. They include athletes Kevin Durant, James Harden and Patrick Mahomes. Actors like Matthew McConaughey and Will Ferrell are also MLS investors.