Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney announce risky Wrexham change fans don’t mind

What can Wrexham expect in League Two?

Wrexham’s rise from non-league football has not come without taking risks, but even Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney recognise that they might have gone too far this time. The club’s Hollywood star co-owners have ploughed over £10 million into the North Wales outfit since taking control in 2021 and that investment has finally paid off after the Red Dragons secured a return to the Football League for the first time in 15 years.

After clinching the National League with a record 111 points, Wrexham can look forward to chasing success in the EFL next season, but they are also winning off the pitch.

The success of the Netflix series ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ has led to a huge surge in the club’s social media exposure, spawning sought-after commercial deals with brands like TikTok and Expedia. Reynolds and McElhenney are still working to bring in new partners, with the former’s wife Blake Lively already signing a deal to take over sponsorship of a hospitality suite via her Betty Buzz beverage brand.

But an even bigger deal has now been struck for naming rights to the Racecourse Ground, bringing much-welcome fresh funds into the outfit. The challenge for the club’s celebrity owners, however, is to convince traditional Brits to ditch their cups of tea for the bizarre world of cold coffee.

Recognising the challenge, the pair have produced a tongue-in-cheek video promoting the new deal with STōK Cold Brew Coffee. In the 46-second commercial, Reynolds says: “Here at the world-famous Racecourse in Wrexham, Teatime for the Red Dragons is as cherished a tradition as anywhere in the United Kingdom.

McEhenney continues: “But today we are announcing STōK Cold Brew Coffee as our official sponsor of the Racecourse.”

The pair then explain that in an effort to convert the team onto the US-favoured product they have sneaked Cold Brew Coffee into the dressing room’s teapots. But replacing their cups of British tea with the new beverage is met with disgust by Wrexham’s players. A spoof hidden camera shows top scorer Paul Mullin taking a sip before saying: “Coffee at teatime? Shambles!”

The 47-goal hit-man then smashes his china tea cup on the dressing room floor, before the rest of the team follows suit. Sat together on their own in Wrexham’s grandstand with a cup of the new coffee, Reynolds says: “I think they noticed,” before McElhenney adds: “Real sticklers for tradition over here, huh? They don’t know what they’re missing.”

The renaming of Wrexham’s stadium to the STōK Racecourse (pronounced ‘stoke’) comes into effect from July 1, 2023.

Brittney Polka, vice president of Ready-to-Drink Beverages at Danone North America, said: “Some may wonder why a U.S.-based cold brew brand would sponsor a tea-drinking Welsh football team. The answer: STōK is all about bold moves. We were captivated by the story of Wrexham—the team, the fans, and the community—and we’re honoured to be welcomed into the Wrexham family. We’ll be cheering on the Red Dragons and raising our cold brews from afar.”

Reaction was mixed on social media, but the general consensus was that it was a good move if it brought more money to the club. @ThatSoccerDad Tweeted: “Sometimes big money moves are what it takes to win another league and promote! Go get it Wrexham!”

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