Two-time Grammy Award winner and Phoenix Rising FC co-owner Diplo appeared on NBCSN’s “Men in Blazers” on Tuesday evening to share stories about becoming a fan of the sport of soccer, and buying into the USL club.
A multi-platinum DJ and producer, Diplo’s travels around the world on tour and to record also lent themselves to the chance to experience a wide variety of cultures.
“I think my first big trip was going down to Brazil,” Diplo told MiB’s Roger Bennett and Michael Davies. “I made some mixtapes down there and some songs, and I first experienced, wow, how grand and huge an impact [it has]. It’s basically the language there, soccer.”
Now based in LA, Diplo bought into Rising FC last year along with fellow musician Pete Wentz. The duo remained part of the ownership group upon the purchase of the club by Berke Bakay and his investment group this year, which has recently seen the club unveil plans for a new stadium and training facility in Phoenix.
“I have a big team of friends and family that we all came together and purchased a small part of the team,” said Diplo. “It’s fascinating to be part of that. I saw the opportunity to invest in soccer, and I thought right away this is going to be grand.”
Davies and Bennett had their usual fun, with Rising FC Head Coach Frank Yallop pegged as a lookalike for Hell’s Kitchen’s English chef Gordon Ramsey.
But while Everton fan Davies’ pie tasted of “Doom” when it came to next Monday’s Merseyside Derby between the Toffees and Liverpool, Diplo went bold, picking Everton to defeat Liverpool 3-0 behind a Gerard Deulofeu – or Gerry D to listeners of the MiB podcast – hat trick.