WREXHAM, Wales (AP) — Wrexham’s shirts will have a taste of Hollywood next season.
The Welsh soccer team has secured its latest celebrity linkup and co-owner Ryan Reynolds is keeping it in the family.
Actor Blake Lively, who is married to the “Deadpool” star, will sponsor the team's training kit from next season through her non-alcoholic beverage company Betty Buzz.
“Our team had, of course, heard of Wrexham AFC but once we officially learned about their refreshing vision, we knew it was the right official fit for our refreshing sparkling beverage,” Lively said in a statement.
Wrexham has gained a global following since it was bought by Reynolds and fellow actor Rob McElhenney for $2.5 million in 2021.
A documentary series about the team has streamed around the world and has made household names of its players, management and fans.
Reynolds and McElhenny have used their own celebrity to raise the profile of the club, which spent 15 years out of the English Football League before earning promotion last month.
The growing exposure of Wrexham led to a shirt sponsorship deal with social media platform TikTok, while there has also been a link with Expedia.
Lively has attended games alongside her husband as Wrexham won the National League with a record total of 111 points. After reaching the fourth division of English soccer, Reynolds and McElhenney rewarded the team with a trip to Las Vegas.
A new 5,000-seat stand is being built to raise the capacity at the club's Racecourse Ground to 15,000 — and a sponsorship deal with a coffee company will change the name of the stadium to Stok Racecourse. The team will also tour the United States in the offseason, playing LA Galaxy II and Premier League teams Manchester United and Chelsea.