Posts tagged with "Maximum Effort"

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney join investors buying into Alpine F1 team

June 27, 2023

The actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney—flush with the success they have brought to Wrexham AFC football club—are expanding their sporting portfolio with an investment in the Alpine Formula One (F1) team, reports The Guardian.

Having been central to the most unlikely rags-to-riches story documented in the enormously popular TV show Welcome To Wrexham, their part in a £157 million (US$199 million) stake in Alpine is hoped to reap a similar reward in F1 which is enjoying a resurgence in global popularity.

On Monday, June 26, Alpine, based in the UK at Enstone in Oxfordshire—and owned by the car manufacturer Renault and branded after its sportscar range—announced they had sold a 24% stake in the team to a consortium of investors.

They include Reynolds, the actor best known for his role in the Deadpool films, and McElhenney one of the lead actors in long-running sitcom It’s Always Sunny In PhiladelphiaThe pair have also been joined by co-investor Michael B Jordan, the lead in the Rocky spin-offs, the Creed films.

Reynolds and McElhenney already had enjoyed a remarkable success story with their investment in Wrexham. In 2021 the pair purchased the struggling north Wales club then competing in the National League, the fifth tier of English football. The pair wanted to set about transforming the club’s fortunes and filmed their efforts to do so for a documentary series. In April of this year Wrexham secured promotion to League Two, after a 15-year absence and Disney announced they were to release a second season of the series.

Neither actor had any experience in running a football club but, emboldened by their success, have chosen to expand into F1 with Alpine, a team with ambitions to make its own step up into the top levels of the sport. There are no plans yet announced of a series to document their efforts, but F1 already enjoys its own season-long soap opera in the form of the Drive to Survive series on Netflix.

Drive to Survive—which was first shown in 2019 covering the 2018 season and with a focus on editing the stories to give a dramatic emphasis—has proven to be enormously popular. It was renewed last year for its fifth and sixth seasons; and has played a key role in the sport’s expansion in the United States, where it is enjoying a popularity not seen for decades. This year F1 will host three U.S. races—in Miami, Austin, and Las Vegas—with the latter promoted by F1’s owner Liberty Media.

The investment in Alpine by Reynolds, McElhenney, and Jordan and their involvement in attempting to turn around Alpine’s fortunes is a storyline ready made for dramatization—and one which will, doubtless, appeal to the burgeoning U.S. market.

The new deal is expected to leverage the experience of the investors in sporting franchises. The U.S.-based group includes the Maximum Effort Investments group of Reynolds, McElhenney and Jordan; Otro Capital; and RedBird Capital Partners, which owns the third-largest stake in Fenway Sports Group (owner of Liverpool FC and the Boston Red Sox baseball team).

That they feel confident of a return is a reflection of F1’s rude health. For years, owning a team was a hugely expensive exercise—a money pit justified by major manufacturers for marketing. However, under Liberty Media, the model has been transformed. They have increased the sport’s popularity and, with the imposition of a budget cap, have made the initial moves to compete profitably.

The value of teams is now on a sharp upward curve. As part of the sale of stock, Alpine was valued at US$900 million.

Research contact: @guardian

Ryan Reynolds sells Mint Mobile for $1.35 billion to T-Mobile

March 17, 2023

Ryan Reynolds used his celebrity and wit to build Mint Mobile into a low-cost competitor in the crowded wireless business. Now, the Hollywood star and his backers are cashing in—selling the upstart brand to T-Mobile US in a cash and stock deal valued at up to $1.35 billion, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Reynolds owns roughly 25% of Mint Mobile, according to people familiar with the matter. That means he stands to personally receive more than $300 million in cash and stock from the transaction.

Reynolds was the personality in the company’s ads, both on television and social media. The ads, such as a recent one during which he read ad copy written for him by Chat GPT, also showcased his own advertising agency.

Following the planned takeover, T-Mobile said the “Deadpool” star would stay on in a creative capacity and the company would keep the Mint Mobile brand. Reynolds will continue to appear in Mint Mobile’s ads.

He posted a video on Twitter on Wednesday joking along with T-Mobile’s chief executive. “T-Mobile has assured me that our incredibly improvised and borderline reckless messaging strategy will also remain untouched,” Reynolds said in the video, which ends with the two men hugging.

Reynolds is heavily involved in the advertising business, helping his own and other brands create attention-getting campaigns. He is chief creative officer at advertising technology company MNTN and co-founder of production and marketing firm Maximum Effort, which MNTN bought in 2021.

Maximum Effort expanded into marketing after Reynolds became an investor in Aviation American Gin and Mint Mobile. Reynolds purchased an undisclosed stake in Aviation American Gin in 2018 and a stake in Mint Mobile in 2019. Diageo bought Aviation American Gin as part of a deal worth up to $610 million in 2020. Reynolds kept an ownership interest.

He has appeared in and created ads for both brands. Maximum Effort also has created ads for a range of companies including Autodesk., Peloton Interactive, and Match Group. Reynolds described its approach as “fastvertising”—seeking to create viral ads at the speed of what people are talking about.

During the Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity, the actor and entrepreneur spoke at Journal House about his recent creative agency merger, his venture into football club ownership and how creativity has been impacted by the pandemic.

“Everything we do is scrappy. It’s fast, it’s inexpensive, character over spectacle,” he said in a WSJ Magazine interview.

T-Mobile, which used to market itself as the upstart to AT&T and Verizon Communications, is now the second-biggest U.S. operator by subscribers and battling for growth in a mature wireless industry. T-Mobile took over Sprint in 2020 in a deal valued at more than $30 billion.

Mint Mobile resells service using T-Mobile’s network, so the deal will save costs but doesn’t bring new customers to T-Mobile. The companies didn’t disclose how many customers Mint Mobile has.

“Over the long term, we’ll also benefit from applying the marketing formula Mint has become famous for across more parts of T-Mobile,” T-Mobile Chief Executive Mike Sievert said.

Research contact: @WSJ