Three-time NFL Pro Bowl running back and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram II has joined D.C. United’s ownership group as an investor pending league approval, the club announced Friday.
The 31-year-old is entering his 11th NFL season after shining at Alabama University. He’s now with the Houston Texans following previous stints with the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens.
“D.C. United are a club rich with tradition and ripe with promise,” Ingram said in a release. “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.
“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.”
D.C. United have undergone significant leadership changes in the last six months, with Danita Johnson joining as their president of business operations in December. Argentine head coach Hernan Losada became the youngest active MLS manager upon his appointment in January, and Lucy Rushton came onboard in April as their general manager head of technical recruitment and analysis.
“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,” Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan, co-chairmen of D.C. United, said in a release. “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 is the latest active professional athlete to enter MLS ownership, with Brooklyn Nets (NBA) teammates James Harden (Houston Dynamo FC) and Kevin Durant (Philadelphia Union) among the headliners. Seattle Seahawks (NFL) quarterback Russell Wilson also has an ownership stake in the Seattle Sounders.
Ingram joins D.C. United’s ownership group after the cub opened Audi Field in 2018 and launched USL Championship side Loudoun United FC shortly thereafter. In the past year, they’ve also fully funded the D.C. United Academy and are building a new training facility and performance center at the Segra Field campus in Virginia.
“Fans and community are at the heart of the experience,” Ingram said. “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.”