50 Cent has sponsored Welsh under-14s football team
Mention Welsh football clubs and celebrity backers, and Wrexham AFC’s Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney will probably spring to mind.
But one under-14s team in Cardiff can now boast its own superstar supporter in rapper 50 Cent.
AFC Rumney’s girls side have his name and his hip-hop collaborators G-Unit now emblazoned on their away kit.
The youngsters are said to be “buzzing” with the news of their unexpected sponsor.
Manager Richie Brown explained that one of the players’ fathers worked with the rapper on a recent tour, and was encouraged by other parents to ask the obvious question – “see if you can get some sponsorship out of him for us”.
“He said he would ask the question – worst case scenario was [50 Cent] would have just said no. Thankfully he didn’t, he agreed to it,” said Mr Brown, 37.
“He sponsored our away kit first of all, and then we were a little bit cheeky. We asked for a little bit more, and he sponsored us again for our tracksuits.”
The team will wear their new kits for the first time next week for their first away game of the season.
“We’re going to get a few photos taken and sent over to him, then hopefully he can give us a good luck video or something to acknowledge it all,” Mr Brown said of the rapper.
“We’re massively appreciative of everything he’s doing for us right now. We love the support.”
50 Cent – real name Curtis James Jackson III – is a rapper, actor, television producer and businessman born from Queens, New York.
After being discovered by rapper Eminem he shot to fame in 2003 with his club anthem In da Club, with the mid-noughties seeing a number of other hits like Just a Lil Bit and Hate It or Love It.
50 Cent has since appeared in films and televisions shows, and starred in and executive-produced the crime drama Power.
G-Unit was an East Coast American hip-hop group which included 50 Cent and long-time friends Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks.
Mr Brown said despite the excitement of the players, the sponsorship has been even more of a hit with parents.
“I’m sure more of them know who he is than the players because of their ages, but the buzz around the team and the whole club really is amazing and its all down to him,” he said.
“At first when you tell anybody they don’t believe it, they just say ‘no way, there’s no chance that’s going to happen, he’s too big of a superstar’.
“It’s huge for grassroots football teams to get people and businesses support us to be able to get better things.”
On the pitch, Mr Brown said he hopes the new kits will translate into good performances after they got promoted last season.
“We’ve had a bit of a slow start and lost a few games,” he said.
“But hopefully now this can get our confidence back – fingers crossed it brings the results back on the pitch as well.”
Mr Brown added: “I think Ryan Reynolds has got a bit of competition now.
“I’m sure the community up in Wrexham is absolutely buzzing with what Ryan Reynolds has done, and hopefully 50 Cent can have that same kind of impact with us down here.”
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Link to original article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-67048545