The ownership group of Austin FC will include one of the city’s most famous residents. Actor Matthew McConaughey, who starred in “Dazed and Confused” set in Austin in 1993 and went on to win an Academy Award for his role in the 2013 film “Dallas Buyers Club,” is one of four minority partners that purchased a stake in the team.
The other owners the club announced Aug. 23 are Eddie Margarin, an entrepreneur who serves as the managing partner of a local investment firm; Marius Hass, president and chief commercial officer of Dell Technologies; and Bryan Sheffield, founder of Parsely Energy.
“This is about legacy for me,” McConaughey said in a media event at ACL Live on Aug. 23 in downtown Austin. “I’m in a time of my life where I don’t want to spend time or investments or money on things I don’t look forward to dealing with on Monday morning.”
The club announced McConaughey will serve as the team’s “minister of culture,” a role The University of Texas announced for him in December. He said the role will include aligning the team’s values with the city’s and other athletic programs like UT’s.
“Austin seems to have its own tribes of north, west, south and east. There’s an opportunity for this game to bring those sides together as well so there’s less borders,” McConaughey said.
Unlike some other professional sports, Major League Soccer is a single-entity structure, meaning the league is one company that team owners purchase a stake in rather than a collection of companies owned by individuals or groups.
That means Hass, Magarin, McConaughey and Sheffield invested into the league and will become minority partners in the operation of Austin FC, with Anthony Precourt remaining the majority partner.
Precourt did not disclose financial details of the group’s investment or how much of an ownership stake they will have.
“The structure is I’ll be the majority partner, but these gentlemen will all be involved in the club, in bringing their own skill sets and relationships and ideas to the club,” Precourt said. “We have a lot of work to do, we want to be successful, and we really need guys like this to take us to the next level.”
Each operator of an MLS franchise serves on the league’s board of governors. Precourt will remain the board chairperson for Austin FC, and Magarin will be the alternate.
Magarin moved to Austin from Mexico in 2009, according to Austin FC, and founded Pixiu Investments shortly thereafter in 2010. The investment company focuses on commercial real estate, oil and gas, and local businesses.
Haas was a Division I collegiate soccer player at Georgetown University, then went onto a career that included roles at Compaq, Intel and Hewlett-Packard before he arrived at Dell in 2012.
Sheffield founded Parsely Energy, an oil and natural gas company, in 2008. According to Austin FC, Parsely Energy has become the 10th largest oil and natural gas operator in the country by rig county in the decade since its inception.
Austin FC is set to begin play in the MLS in 2021. On Sept. 5, the team will mark the groundbreaking of its new stadium in North Austin. Construction is expected to last 18 months in order to be ready for play for the 2021 season.