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The inspiring story of a local football club turned global phenomenon

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s purchase of Wrexham AFC in 2020 was a move that surprised many in the entertainment industry. The world’s third-oldest football club was located in the 5th division of the English football pyramid, far from the bright lights of the Premier League. However, what made this move so interesting was that the club was owned by the fans, and the two stars saw an opportunity to engage with these loyal supporters and bring them along for the journey.

Reynolds and McElhenney’s investment in Wrexham AFC was not just about promoting the team to the Premier League, but instead, it was about creative storytelling and marketing genius. The duo saw something in the club that many others did not. They met with over 2,000 supporters on Zoom in 2020 and made an offer to invest approximately $2.5 million in the club’s players and facilities. They even signed a 25-year stadium lease in Wrexham to assure fans that they would not move the team.

However, the real play was a “Netflix-style” docu-series that tracked their purchase, investment in the club, and the team’s journey back to prominence. It was called “Welcome to Wrexham.” The first season of the show was an immediate success, both on and off the pitch. It debuted on FX in August 2021 and received a 97% audience score, quickly getting greenlit for season two. The club likely made good money on the deal, with approximately $400,000 per hour of content and an eight-part series. This equates to approximately $3.2 million in revenue, which was just part of their success.

The documentary series has provided the club with global reach, which is something Wrexham AFC would have never achieved without the strategic marketing and creative media employed by Reynolds and McElhenney. The team’s FA Cup qualifier versus the Blyth Spartans on Saturday was broadcasted on ESPN2 and ESPN+, making it available in approximately 100 million households globally.

Wrexham AFC’s increased visibility and success on and off the pitch brought attention and investment to the area. The club’s success has helped put Wrexham on the map and given the town a new sense of pride and identity. The increased attention has turned into tangible revenue for the club. Wrexham AFC has signed kit sponsorship deals with several companies, including TikTok, Expedia, Vistaprint, and Ryan Reynolds’ own Aviation American Gin. Additionally, the number of fans buying season tickets has nearly tripled since the purchase of the club, with 2,609 season tickets purchased in 2019, compared to 5,892 in 2021 and 6,820 in 2022.

Most importantly, the increased attention and success have turned into something much more significant than just financial gain. Wrexham AFC has just gained promotion to the English Football League for the first time in fourteen years, and their social media accounts have exploded in popularity. Their Twitter account went from 45,000 to 209,000 followers, an increase of 364%. Their Instagram account went from 27,000 to 208,000 followers, a whopping 670% increase, and their TikTok account went from 0 to 459,000 followers. The local community is now fully invested in the club.

The club’s promotion back to the EFL after a 14-year absence is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved with the club. From the players to the coaching staff to the fans, everyone played a crucial role in helping the club