Three-Time National Football League Pro Bowl Running Back and Heisman Trophy Winner Invests in Major League Soccer’s Most Decorated Club
WASHINGTON, D.C. –D.C. United back in June announced that three-time National Football League (NFL) Pro Bowl running back and Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram II has joined the Black-and-Red ownership group as an investor pending Major League Soccer approval.
“D.C. United are a club rich with tradition and ripe with promise. I am excited about the recent investments the club has made to build towards a sustainable future and the decisions they have taken at the leadership level both on and off the pitch. Additionally, the club’s values have been on full display recently and they align with my beliefs,” said Mark Ingram II. “I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the DMV as a professional athlete as well as had the fortune of attending D.C. United matches and the passion of the sporting community and fanbase here is second to none. I look forward to playing an active role in the ownership group to help our club compete for more major trophies and deepen our impact in the community.”
Ingram is heading into his 11th season in the NFL after joining the league in 2011. During his tenure in the league, he has collected several individual and team honors. After winning the 2009 Heisman Trophy and National Championship as a member of the Alabama University football team, he has had a productive ten years as a Running Back in the NFL, making the Pro Bowl on three separate occasions, the latest coming in 2019. The former New Orleans Saint and Baltimore Raven will play for the Houston Texans this upcoming NFL season.
“We first spent time with Mark in 2019 and we have built a relationship founded on a set of shared values and a love of sport and community,” said Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan, Co-Chairmen of D.C. United. “Mark’s track record at the highest levels of both collegiate and professional sports and the perspective that he brings is a valued addition to our ownership group and we look forward to having him as our partner.”
Ingram, who was represented in the transaction by Christopher Burtley of Barnes and Thornburg LLP, brings a unique perspective as a professional athlete committed to philanthropy and engagement. “Fans and community are at the heart of the experience,” said Ingram. “D.C. United supporters are a diverse and passionate group. I am excited to join the D.C. United family and advance their commitment for inclusion within the organization and success on the pitch.”
In the last six months, D.C. United have made several significant changes to their leadership personnel on both the soccer and business sides of the club. In December, the club appointed Danita Johnson as the new President of Business Operations. The following month, Hernán Losada was named as the new Head Coach, making him the youngest active coach in the league. Then in April, Lucy Rushton was introduced as the club’s new General Manager and head of Technical Recruitment and Analysis.
Additionally, the club have placed an increased focus on their soccer infrastructure and youth development over the past couple years, as noted by the major milestones below.
- 2018 – Opening of Audi Field: The club opened Audi Field, their brand new 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Washington D.C., located in the fastest growing neighborhood in the District.
- 2018 – Founding of Loudoun United FC: D.C. United founded their own United Soccer League Championship side, Loudoun United FC. The club’s inaugural season was in 2019.
- 2019 – Opening of Segra Field: A 5,000-seat stadium located in Loudoun County, Virginia was opened and became the home of Loudoun United FC, as well as other professional sports and events.
- 2020 – Fully-Funding the D.C. United Academy: The D.C. United Academy became fully-funded, providing access for all youth players in the system at no cost.
- 2021 – New Training Facility and Performance Center: D.C. United broke ground on their new training facility and performance center located in Loudoun County, Virginia on the Segra Field Campus. The 30-acre facility, which includes four full-size outdoor practice fields, will house the first team, Loudoun United FC, the Academy, and the Washington Spirit, is expected to be completed later this year.
For more information, visit: www.dcunited.com.
About D.C. United
One of the founding clubs of Major League Soccer in 1996, D.C. United are among the most decorated teams in the United States with 13 domestic and international trophies.
D.C. United have called the District home for the past 25 seasons and play their home games at Audi Field in the Buzzard Point neighborhood of Southwest, Washington, D.C, which opened in 2018. In addition to D.C. United games, the 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium hosts over 100 events year-round, including the District’s premier arts, culinary, and music festival, Unite the District Fest. Audi Field will soon be home to America’s number one sportsbook through a partnership with FanDuel Group.
The Black-and-Red have won the MLS Cup four times (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004), the Supporters’ Shield four times (1997, 1999, 2006 and 2007) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup three times (1996, 2008 and 2013).
COURTESY D.C. UNITED COMMUNICATIONS