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Redefining Investment: How Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are changing the Game

Bert Farrell

Hollywood and investing are areas that gel together so naturally. Celebrity endorsements are nothing new but the industry has gotten a little stale as of late. While it may still be profitable to slap a celebrity's name on a brand and send it out into the world, real innovation in the field is less common. 

Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor Rob McElhenney are rewriting the playbook of what it means to be an investor. The duo, along with fellow-actor Michael B. Jordan, recently made headlines by acquiring a substantial 24% equity stake in Alpine Racing, a move that reflects their unique and proactive approach to investment. 

The Formula 1 team's parent company Renault announced the €200m (£171m) deal on Monday. The investment has boosted Alpine’s value to an impressive £700m, a testament to the F1 brand's potential and the faith Reynolds and McElhenney have placed in it.

The actors' investment venture, Maximum Effort Investments, is aptly named. Unlike traditional investors who may remain on the periphery, Reynolds and McElhenney are actively involved in shaping their investments, fostering connections with fans, and wielding their considerable influence to propel their brands into the global spotlight. 

Reynolds and McElhenney’s strategy

This proactive approach has been exceptionally illustrated in their docu-series, 'Welcome to Wrexham.' The show, a major hit in North America, follows their journey as new owners of Wrexham AFC, a little-known football club from North Wales. Not only did this venture generate a new surge of popularity for the club, it also showcased Reynolds and McElhenney’s commitment to building value and forging deeper connections in their investments. 

They pair didn’t just fork out millions and sit back – they jumped in, sleeves rolled up, ready to revitalise a club that, while it was a non-league team, was ripe with potential. The Wrexham story is a tale of tapping into a rich vein of infrastructure and history, synergising it with their domain expertise, and creating an entity that is greater than the sum of its parts. The value add that came from their Wrexham purchase is a testament to the efficacy of this approach.

Their stake in Alpine Racing follows a similar trajectory. The Formula 1 team already possesses a strong brand and dedicated fan base. However, it has not been able to compete with other top teams, even with two top quality drivers behind the wheel in Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly. With Reynolds and McElhenney on board, Alpine now has the opportunity to tap into the vast network and synergies the duo bring with them, all while reaping the benefits of their strategic and highly effective marketing efforts, especially with the likeable duo of drivers available to humanise the brand.

McElhenney and Reynold’s active approach to investment has undoubtedly set them apart in a crowded field but it also signals a shift in investment practices, one that the early-stage venture eco-system can learn from and emulate. Much like Reynolds and McElhenney, the likes of venture builders have the opportunity to play an active role in shaping their investments. Rather than being silent partners, they can provide input and steer a product roadmap in a direction that leverages their unique domain expertise.

Ultimately, the active involvement of Reynolds and McElhenney in their investments symbolises a new era in the industry, a move towards a more interactive, dynamic, and hands-on approach to investment. Their journey illuminates the pathway for venture builders and investors alike, demonstrating that with the right people and the right approach, there is an enormous opportunity to create substantial value.

A Lesson for Investors

The stories of Wrexham AFC and Alpine Racing encapsulate a message for all investors: that money isn't the only means of adding value. By intertwining investment with involvement, Reynolds and McElhenney are proving that it's possible to transform brands, create dedicated fan bases, and secure impressive returns, all while fundamentally changing the game. 

While most investors might not have the funds of a Hollywood A-lister with a successful portfolio, they do have expertise. Finding an investment opportunity that you know you can add value to is something that investors must consider. That might not seem like a major lightbulb moment but utilising a venture builder could be the best direction to go for a proactive investor without billions in the bank.

If you want to know more about why a venture builder is a new approach that embodies the tactics referenced above click here. If you’re already familiar with why venture builders are becoming the next big thing, then contact us and see if we can link you with the right venture.