Buick TSL “22 For 2022” | Jemele Hill And Christine Simmons Discuss Evolution Of Women’s Sports And Untapped Business Opportunities

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Women in sports have come a long way in the last 50 years on the field, in leadership, coaching and management positions. But there are differences in the way the women’s game is sold to potential sponsors versus their male counterparts.

For example, at the collegiate basketball level the best male players are gone after one year or play in other professional leagues making connections to a fan base difficult. In women’s college basketball the best players will likely be there for four years, giving brands the opportunity to grow with an athlete’s popularity over time, Hill believes. That athlete can then take that star power to the WNBA, helping to increase the league’s popularity.

Simmons says there’s a learning opportunity for teams in men’s sports as well. Due to the creativity and innovation needed to market women’s sports there are more options on the table. If the powers that be in the NBA for example used more innovation like the WNBA has, they could take their marketing and popularity to another level.

Both women agree that change comes when there is diversity at the decision making level. Not just diversity in terms of gender and race, but thought, background, and life experiences as well.