TN50 - driving the next 50 years of growth in women's sports. Presented by Axios and Deep Blue
Apr 23, 2024 - Business

More brands need to get on board the women's sports rise, NY Liberty CEO says

From the front office panel at Business of Womens' Sports

Axios' Sara Fischer, WNBA team executives Keia Clarke and Jess Smith, and NWSL executive Kim Stone. Photo credit: Axios and Deep Blue Sports & Entertainment Business of Women's Sports Summit 2024.

The popularity of women's sports will last and brands who aren't in the game are missing out, New York Liberty CEO Keia Clarke said at the TN50: Business of Women's Sports Summit on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Thanks to Caitlin Clark's arrival, the WNBA is under pressure to capitalize financially as it heads into arguably the most anticipated season in its 28-year history.

Zoom in: Clarke said it's her job to make brands understand the long-term staying power of the WNBA.

  • "This is the tipping point, it's for the long haul now and it's our job to really showcase the value and longevity," Clarke said at the event, produced by Axios and Deep Blue Sports + Entertainment.
  • The biggest challenge, Clarke said, is getting brands to understand that partnering with the league "is not a fly by night" moment. "It's not a helicopter event," she added.

Context: Clarke was joined on the panel by Kim Stone, CEO of the NWSL's Washington Spirit and Jess Smith, president of the WNBA's forthcoming Golden State franchise. Axios reporter Sara Fischer moderated.

  • Stone summed up the feeling from many in the women's sports world regarding the past few years: "It's not a moment we're having, it's a movement we're having."

Go deeper: WNBA needs to capitalize on the Caitlin Clark moment

TN50: The Business of Women's Sports Summit is an event focused on the growing marketing and investment dollars in women's sports. The event, produced by Axios and Deep Blue Sports + Entertainment, features top female athletes, sports leaders and investors in the women's sports industry.

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