Austin FC co-owner Matthew McConaughey has another title at his hometown club. It certainly is the first of its kind in MLS.
The Minister of Culture.
The moniker fits McConaughey quite well, a nebulous term that we aren't entirely sure what it means, but it just feels right for the Hollywood megastar. So why not ask the man himself what, exactly, one does as minister of culture.
“For a team that’s going to be representing the city of Austin, I need to be there as someone who knows Austin really well, that the two are mirror images of each other," McConaughey said on a virtual press conference. "The team, the product we put on the pitch and the fan experience in that stadium. My goal, as minister of culture, is trying to align (the two). When you take a snapshot above Q2 Stadium on any given night that we play, you should be able to see in the crowd the diversity, creative colors and vibrancy of Austin, Texas.”
An acclaimed and award-winning Hollywood actor, McConaughey holds the same role at the University of Texas, where he’s given several inspirational speeches to their football and basketball teams.
“There is a culture in Austin. We are relentlessly optimistic, we’re highly creative," McConaughey said. "We like to win, we like to win well and know how to wear our wins well. We’re a growing city. As minister of culture, I’m hanging onto the DNA of who we are and why we love Austin is still in place in the city and within Austin FC.”
McConaughey joined Austin's ownership group in 2019 under majority partner Anthony Precourt. The Texas native has been public in talking about his club as they ramped up towards their debut. When approached with the idea to jump on board long before they had a team, schedule, stadium or much else, McConaughey didn't hesitate.
“When the idea came, to me it was: Absolutely, I’m all in, how much can I get in?" he said. "The challenge for me is where to back off.”
Soon the club will debut in MLS, going from vision to reality. Austin FC play their inaugural MLS match on Saturday against LAFC.
"We’re less than a week out. Here we go. We know it’s Verde, but now it’s live," McConaughey said with a clap and a smile. "Woohoo! I just got some chills saying that."