Former Yahoo VP Mario Malavé Co-Leads Mercury/13, a Women’s Football Venture

Pinion Newswire
3 min readJan 24, 2024

In a historic stride towards transforming the landscape of women’s football, Mercury/13 proudly announces Mario Malavé as Co-CEO. A tech entrepreneur and former VP of Betting and Sports at Yahoo, Mario brings a wealth of experience and Mario Malavé, a Harvard graduate and Forbes 30 Under 30 awardee, co-founded Wagr, a successful sports betting startup acquired by Yahoo Sports. His appointment as Co-CEO alongside Victoire Cogevina Reynal, former VP of Women’s Football at Onefootball and CEO of Gloria Football, forms a dynamic duo poised to reshape the future of women’s football.innovation to the forefront of this groundbreaking venture.

Underlining its commitment to revolutionizing women’s football, Mercury/13 reveals plans to invest $100 million in acquiring and elevating women’s football clubs in Europe and Latin America. The group envisions becoming the leading multi-club ownership entity in women’s football, with a strategic approach of acquiring one club at a time. Unlike other investors, Mario and Victoire strategically focus on Europe and Latin America, recognizing compelling risk-reward dynamics and untapped valuations. They plan to catalyze growth in these markets by leveraging their expertise and resources. The Co-CEOs embody a complementary leadership model, with Mario overseeing investments, business strategy, and football operations, while Victoire commands commercial, marketing, and brand efforts across the portfolio.

About Mercury/13: Shaping the Future of Women’s Football

Mercury/13 is a multi-club ownership group dedicated to acquiring controlling stakes in professional women’s football teams in Europe and Latin America. With a planned investment of $100 million, the group aims to set the industry standard by boosting the commercial power of super clubs and tapping into an underserved market: women. The name Mercury/13 pays homage to the 13 women denied opportunities at NASA in 1960, symbolizing a commitment to breaking barriers and reshaping the narrative in women’s football

“As the recent growth in NWSL valuations has proven, investors can reset price expectations very quickly once they recalibrate their growth assumptions. We see all the right ingredients for something similar to happen in Europe if clubs and leagues can execute correctly. We want to help catalyze that growth in the markets we enter” Mario saids. The group is made up of seasoned executives with successful track records in sport, investment, and technology. The founder assures that the team is positioned with unique backgrounds, experience, and skills to become the main player in this space.

Among the confirmed members of the group are Luis Vicente, former FIFA Chief Innovation Officer, Nancy Hensley, formerly Chief Product and Marketing at Stats Perform, Eniola Aluko, former Chelsea & England pro footballer and former Sporting Director of Aston Villa women & Angel City FC, as well as Arianna Criscione, former Paris Saint Germain goalkeeper and expert consultant on women’s football. Criscione, who is currently 8 months pregnant, and like Victoire, wants a better world for her daughter.

In addition to building out the highly skilled leadership team, the group has attracted key advisory board members such as veteran sports advisor Michael Broughton who co-founded Sports Innovation Partners and has over 22 years of sports experience with deep expertise in media and operations.

Ebru Koksal, former CEO and Board Member of Turkish football club Galatasaray’s board will also be joining Mercury 13’s board. She was the first woman to be elected to the European Club Association Executive Board and is currently INED at the Professional Footballer’s Association and A-Leagues as well as Chair of Women in Football.

To complete the trio, 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 business models.

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