Gary Neville has extended his growing business portfolio in Manchester by investing in digital agency e3creative.

The former Manchester United star, now a successful Sky Sports pundit, has bought a 50% share in the company.

It’s the first time Neville has invested in the digital sector after his investments in the hotel and property sector.

Neville’s move is said to be an “important part of his plan to digitally support” his other projects, including Hotel Football, The Stock Exchange and St Michaels.

He said: “We have been on the lookout for some time now for the right digital agency to invest in as we want to embed creative and digital at the heart of our business and our projects.

e3creative MD Jake Welsh

e3creative MD Jake Welsh

“After meeting several agencies, it was immediately obvious that e3creative were the right choice for us and thankfully Jake and the team were excited about what we were looking to achieve. Our plan is now to fully integrate e3creative into our activities and at the same time assist them in achieving the success to which they aspire and that their hard work deserves.”

e3creative, founded in 2010, works with clients including The Lowry, Ascot, O2 and Stonewall. Last year it turned over £1.1m.

MD Jake Welsh said: “Gary and his team joining the business is a huge milestone for the agency – we have very ambitious plans and this has given us the extra resource, knowledge, confidence and ability to start putting this into action.

“As an agency we have gained respect from peers and clients worldwide for our thought leadership, intuitive digital thinking and the way in which we approach our works. As a business, our teams within the walls of the agency are what make everything possible – everyone within e3creative is incredibly excited with what the future holds and we are delighted for everyone on board.”