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Mercury/13 unveils first portfolio club in Europe: Como Women from Serie A Femminile

--News Direct--

To watch the live announcement from Lake Como, go to Mercury/ at 6:30 PM CET.

Lake Como, Italy, March 4th, 2024 - (500NewsWire) -- In a landmark deal, Mercury/13 - a women’s football multi-club ownership group led by Victoire Cogevina Reynal and Mario Malavé - has announced the acquisition of a controlling stake in Como Women, a professional women’s football club competing in Italy’s Serie A Femminile eBay. This groundbreaking development signifies Mercury/13's inaugural portfolio club, and an important step in their vision to redefine football club ownership by embracing a massive yet overlooked audience: women.

Under the leadership of Mercury/13, Como Women aims to propel itself to global recognition in women's football as it enters an exciting new chapter. The club's remarkable ascent from Serie C to the pinnacle of Italian professional women's football is a testament to the work of the club’s existing owners and validation for the viability of independent women clubs in Europe.

Stefano Verga, who’s led Como Women since the team’s inception, will remain as club President and shareholder, alongside pre-existing owners Simone Verga, Manuela Colombo, and Cristian Larghi. Mercury/13’s co-founders and co-CEOs, Ms. Cogevina Reynal and Mr. Malave will join the club’s board of directors, alongside Mr. Verga.

"For years, I've dreamed of this club having what it truly deserves. Since I met Victoire and Mario, I've been fascinated by their vision and determination they have to transform women's football. It has brought me great joy and pride that a group with the calibre of talent of Mercury/13’s has chosen us as their first investment. For many years, I've held this dream in my mind, and I see in this project the opportunity for us all to come together and take the team to the top of European football. I'm excited to welcome them in Como and I anticipate great things from this partnership,” said Mr. Verga

The club will continue operating from its current facility, and remain deeply rooted within the local communities of Seregno, Cislago, and Como. Comprising a roster of talented young and seasoned players, the team rivals against renowned clubs such as AC Milan, Juventus, and AS Roma in the Italian championship, with the aspiration to continue improving with each new season.

Italy's illustrious football heritage and vast potential for women's football development, as well as the iconic location of the club presents a compelling opportunity. Through close collaboration with the club's staff and sporting personnel, Mercury/13 aims to help transform Como Women into one of Europe's foremost clubs, providing a nurturing environment for players to flourish in their careers on and off the pitch.

“We’re thrilled by the opportunity to take this club to the next level, and we’re looking forward to embed ourselves into the local community and build the next chapter of this club with them, the new fans, and the millions of international tourists that visit Lake Como every year. All of them will have a new reason to come and visit this top European destination: watch and support women playing football at the highest level, " said Victoire Cogevina Reynal.

Central to this vision is the pursuit of strategic commercial partnerships that recognize the pivotal role of women's football in advancing gender equality on a global scale, with the intention of welcoming the other half of the globe into a sport that often excludes them.

“Through innovative partnerships with forward looking sponsors, we are determined to transform Como Women into a symbol of empowerment and celebration of women in Italy and beyond. Through football we are confident we can become a paradigm of success and an important example of what happens when society gives women the place and the opportunities they deserve.” said Ms. Cogevina Reynal, also known for her activism with the United Nations and several non-profits in the gender equality fight.

“When we first met Mr. Verga, now our partner, we were immediately inspired by his journey and by his ambition to take the club to new heights” said Mario Malavé. “We’ve been impressed with the calibre of talent here (on and off the pitch) and we’re very energised to contribute to the growth of women’s football in Italy. This club has been built with the support of incredible local partners who have backed the team and helped it get to where it is today. We’re invigorated to extend our partnerships with them in this next chapter of growth” Mr. Malave said.

The new ownership group wishes to recognise the dedication and professionalism of Deloitte and Sidley Austin LLP as they served as their legal counsel in this historic transaction.

About the Italian Football Market

Italian women's football has grown enormously in the last decade, in 2022, the Serie A Femminile eBay officially became a professional league, and the number of young female players between 10 and 15 years rose by an astonishing 105% between 2010 and 2022, According to the 2023 Italian Football Federation (FIGC) ReportCalcio, they had 36,552 female players officially registered in 2022, stating that 20% of the country's population supports women's football and counting. Also, the Serie A Femminile TV audience in 2021-2022 increased by 142% compared to the previous season, and then an extra 7% in 2022-23 thanks to the newly available free TV broadcast. The commercial value of women's football in Italy is projected to grow to 46.7 million euros in 2033 via ticketing, sponsorship, and media. Source: 2023 ReportCalcio - FIGC

About Como Women

S.S.D F.C Como Women was founded in 2020 by President Stefano Verga under the sporting title of Riozzese Como. However, the roots of women's football in Como trace back to 1997 with the establishment of Como 2000, evolving into A.C.F. Como. In 2020, they couldn’t register for the championship, opening the door for the new Riozzese Como. After a full rebranding in 2021, the club became the current FC Como Women.The club secured every category promotion until achieving a historic jump to Serie A, the female Italian first division, in 2021/22. This notable achievement coincided with the inaugural season of professionalism in Italian women's football. Now, FC Como Women stands at the 7th table position in the 2023/24 season, hosting its home matches at the Ferruccio Stadium in Seregno and training at the Sport Village in Cislago.

In addition to the first team's success, FC Como Women encompasses a thriving youth academy, including U19, U17, U15, U12, and U11 categories.

About Mercury/13

Mercury/13 is a multi-club ownership group focused on acquiring controlling stakes in professional women's football teams in Europe and Latin America. The group aims to invest 100 million dollars in women’s football over the coming years. The vision is to become the industry standard of women’s football ownership, by identifying and investing in the next decade’s super clubs and fueling their commercial power to attract a massive, yet underserved, market: women.

The group's acquisition strategy is based on the fundamental principle that women's football is a different game, and fans want a different experience. The group is made up of seasoned executives with successful track records in sport, investment, and technology. The founding team is positioned with unique backgrounds, experience, and skills to become the main player in this space: Luis Vicente, former FIFA Chief Innovation Officer, Eniola Aluko MBE, ex Chelsea & England National Team and former founding Sporting Director of Aston Villa women & Angel City FC. Ebru Koksal, former CEO and Board Member of Turkish football club Galatasaray’s and currently the chair of Women in Football, as well as Michael Broughton who co-founded Sports Innovation Partners and has over 22 years of sports experience with deep expertise in media and operations.

To complete the list, is Brigit Lee, a tech executive currently with Sony PlayStation and formerly at Amazon and Best Buy. Lee counts 25 years of experience working with both start-ups and large companies to forge global, strategic partnerships and to build out new, innovative commercial business models.

The history of the name

The name Mercury/13 is a tribute to the 13 women who were not allowed to work for NASA on the basis of their gender back in 1960. The program that would carry a spacecraft manned only by women was cancelled in 1961. The authorities at the time did not believe that women alone could achieve the goal.

Lake Como as a top destination

As the Italian club embarks on its transformative journey, supported by partners, fans, and the global football community, it aims to become a beacon of excellence in women's football, drawing visitors to one of Europe's most captivating destinations. Nestled in northern Italy, Lake Como is celebrated for its stunning natural beauty and charming towns. Surrounded by steep wooded hillsides, the lake's picturesque shoreline is adorned with elegant villas dating back centuries, offering breathtaking views of the Alps.

Renowned for its mild climate and tranquil atmosphere, Lake Como attracts visitors year-round for outdoor activities and cultural exploration. From boating and hiking to exploring historic sites and indulging in local cuisine, there's something for everyone to enjoy amidst the region's timeless beauty.

Lake Como's allure extends beyond its natural splendour; it has long been a magnet for the rich and famous, with notable celebrities such as George Clooney, Madonna, Sir Richard Branson, Donatella Versace, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Sir Elton John having chosen to reside or vacation in its idyllic surroundings. Their presence adds to the area's cosmopolitan charm, making Lake Como a premier destination for travellers seeking a blend of luxury, culture, and natural beauty.

Contact Details

Alejandra Depalma, CCO Mercury/13

+1 305-733-1313

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