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10 Most Powerful Women in the Business of Sports

Not only do these women make an impact in the world of sports, but also in the business world.

The battle for women’s rights to have equal rights and opportunities in all areas of life, including sports, is ongoing. Despite the fact that women do far better than their male counterparts, players on the United States Women’s National Soccer Team earn much less than their male counterparts do. 

Female coaches and sports executives continue to earn far less than their male colleagues and to hold a disproportionately small number of jobs, particularly at the highest levels of the sector. 

This disparity is especially prevalent at the higher echelons of the industry. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, just 4% of the media coverage in sports includes female athletes.

Women still make up less than 5% of all authorized agents in the major leagues, despite the fact that the gender ratio in the stands is beginning to even out in a number of different sports.

1. Sally Bergesen

She was years ahead of her time when she founded Oiselle and now serves as the company’s chief executive officer. In 2007, Oiselle debuted its very first retail location. Founded by women, specifically for other women. In specifically, Oiselle is a company that targets female customers and encourages active lifestyles among women of all ages and skill levels. They provide these consumers with with running apparel.

 Oiselle’s goal is to cultivate a sense of sisterhood among its customers by using the transformational power of competition. Oiselle places a strong emphasis on giving back to the community via its charitable initiatives.

2. Ronda Rousey

Another name that makes the list of the most powerful women in he business of sports is Ronda Rousey. Her pseudonym, “Rowdy,” has become the persona that people are most likely to recognize her by. Before calling it quits in her athletic career, she fought in the United States as a professional mixed martial arts fighter, judoka, and wrestler.

She made history by being the first woman from the United States to win an Olympic medal in judo in the year 2008. This was when the competition took place at the Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium. After that, she started to get a great deal of acclaim from a variety of sources. 

In addition to that, she appeared on the cover of a number of different magazines and worked as an actress in movies in which she played herself. Rousey is the only woman in the annals of MMA and professional wrestling history to have won a championship in both organizations.

3. Camille Abily

During her tenure as a player in the women’s football league known as Ligue 1 Feminine, Camille was a member of the France national team and Lyon’s team. As a result of Camille’s exceptional performance in the offensive midfield position, the National Union of Professional Footballers awarded her the title of Female Player of the Year on two separate occasions. We recommend Maxifoot for the latest football news from France if you want to know what’s going on in women football there.

4. Kim Ng

Kim, one of the most powerful women in the business of sports, will be serving in the role of general manager for the Miami Marlins. In addition to that, she is now the highest-ranking female executive in all baseball. She is the first person of East Asian descent, as well as the first woman to occupy the post of general manager in any of the Big Four professional sports organizations in North America. 

In 2017, she was recognized as a noteworthy woman in the sports industry by the newspaper Ad week.

5. Nicole Lynn

Another name on the list of the most powerful women in the business of sports is Nicole Lynn. PlayersRep made history in 2015 by hiring Nicole Lynn, the first female agent in NFL history. She was just 26 years old when she signed her first client up for her services. In 2017, Lil Wayne’s musical label, Young Money, acquired the athletic representation company Players Rep.

In 2021, Nicole advanced her professional standing by taking the role of President of Football Operations at Klutch Sports Group. This move was a significant step for her career. Her client list includes athletes competing in a broad variety of sports. This is not exclusive just to those from the National Football League.

6. Janet Buss

Janet is the president of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. She also owns a significant share in the franchise (NBA). Her father, Jerry Buss, was a business magnate in the real estate industry who went on to acquire a number of sports clubs, one of which being the Los Angeles Lakers.

Jeanie Buss joined the family business when she was 19 years old to take over the position of general manager of the Los Angeles Strings professional tennis team. She began from the bottom and worked her way up. This eventually led her to become the owner of the Los Angeles Blades. The Lost Angeles Blades is a roller hockey team that competes at the professional level. 

Her paternal grandfather bequeathed the Lakers to his six children. Since then, all of them have an equal voice in the running of the club. It was decided that Buss would take over as the team’s president. As the first female controlling owner in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA), she made history in 2020 when her club won the championship. Taking all of this into consideration, no list of the most powerful women in the business of sports would be complete without including Janet Buss.

7. Dawn Staley

Both the women’s basketball teams for the University of South Carolina and the national team for the United States are under her direction. Staley is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame for the United States. She has won three medals in the Olympic Games as well. 

In addition, she was selected to be the one who would carry the American flag into the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics. After winning the women’s basketball gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, she went on to have a successful professional career in both the American Basketball League and the Women’s National Basketball Association.

In the same year, members of the WNBA community voted Staley into the top 15 on the league’s all-time scoring list (2011). On March 10, she was given the position of head coach of the United States national team. This was only a few months before the 2017 World Cup. On April 2, 2020, Staley made history by being the first person to win the Naismith Award in both the playing and coaching categories.

8. Naomi Osaka

Even though she is just 23 years old, the Women’s Tennis Association has her ranked as the number one player (WTA). Not only does this make her one of the most powerful women in the business of sports, but one of the youngest as well.

She also has the distinction of being the first player of Asian descent to ever achieve the position of No. 1 in the singles rankings. She won the singles’ competition in both the United States Open and the Australian Open. This feat made her a winner of all four Grand Slam tournaments. 

There are few tennis players who have garnered as much attention as Naomi Osaka has. Ever since she was three years old, the United States of America has served as her major training ground. Check out these 10 business ideas for women entrepreneurs as well.

9. Sheila Johnson

She is a resident of the United States and has a background in both business and sports management. Sheila Johnson is the president of the Washington Mystics WNBA franchise. She is also the managing partner and governor of the state. 

Before the organization was sold to Lincoln Holdings LLC, Johnson served as the team’s president throughout the whole of the Mystics’ ownership of the franchise. She was the first African-American woman to own or be a partner in three major league sports organizations. She had ownership or partnership stakes in the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals, the National Basketball Association’s Washington Wizards, and the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Washington Mystics (WNBA).

10. Michele Roberts

This is the first time in the history of the National Basketball Players Association that a woman has held the position of executive director. She is also the first woman to run a major professional sports union in North America. These facts are making her a pioneer in that regard.

Powerful Women in the Business of Sports – Summary

There you have it – our list of the top 10 most powerful women in the business of sports. If you think we have left any off, please be sure to leave a comment below!

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