Legends Of Sport shares in the excitement of Los Angeles’ newest professional sports team, Angel City Football Club. Angel City FC is the first professional women’s soccer team to be based in L.A. since the Los Angeles Sol of Women’s Professional Soccer folded in 2010. Angel City is the 11th expansion team in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
Julie Uhrman, the Co-founder and President of Angel City Football Club, talks with Andy about the unique founding of Angel City and what makes the team standout. Julie comes to sports from the world of media and gaming entrepreneurship.
“The idea for Angel City was really Natalie Portman’s, the actress and activist. She was very
early on a member of ‘time’s up’ and spent her time talking with the U.S. Women’s National
team about what she did in the entertainment space as she strove to equal pay and equal
attention for women, specifically directors and actresses,” Julie said.
Natalie collaborated with Julie and technology venture capitalist Kara Nortman to create the
team. Their mission is to promote equality for women athletes and build a community-based sports platform.
“I was born and bred in Los Angeles. I do believe that Los Angeles is the best sports town in the world,” Julie said. “Natalie, Kara and I all grew up in L.A, we actually played basketball against each other in high school and have known each other for years just being in the venture tech space.”
Unlike other sports teams, Angel City is based on a sponsorship model with ten percent of all sponsorship dollars going back into the community through their social impact platform. The team is affiliated with local charities like LA84 and national brands like DoorDash in order to further their impact.
“For every seat deposit and season ticket we sell, we’re donating a sports bra to a young girl in need in partnership with Nike, because we realize the number one reason that girls stopped playing sports is because they can’t afford a sports bra,” Julie said.
In July 2020, Angel City FC officially announced that they would play their inaugural season in 2022.
“From the beginning, we really thought about our ‘why’ and we wanted it to be bigger than the game, we recognized that we were building this on the back of ‘time’s up,’ we were building this with an ultimate goal to get to pay equity,” Julie said.
“We went about building an organization where mission and capital coexist, where our
aspiration is to be a global brand, because then we have more attention, more awareness, we can have more impact.”
Julie says Angel City will also focus on the players as people and help build up the profiles of every member – not just the starters.
“We believe that fans follow players first, team second, and leagues third. The storytelling has to be of our players and it’s not just the 11 that are starters – it’s our entire roster, we tell the stories of who they are, why they’re here, and what their platform is,” Julie said.
Angel City FC will play their first game on Saturday, March 19, against the San Diego Wave FC.
“We just set higher expectations on and off the pitch, whether it’s for our community, for our players, for past players, even for our league and the sport in general, with the ultimate goal to get to equity.”
Hear the full interview with Julie and get the scoop on the future of L.A’s newest sports team.