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

776 Invitational to offer biggest purse for all-female track event

Gabby Thomas and Alexis Ohanian

Gabby Thomas and Alexis Ohanian. Photo credit: Axios and Deep Blue Sports & Entertainment Business of Women's Sports Summit 2024.

Alexis Ohanian's venture capital firm 776 will host a women's only track event in September called the 776 Invitational, he announced at the TN50: The Business of Women's Sports Summit on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The event is intended to bring more attention to track outside of the Olympics.

Zoom in: "776 is committing to the biggest purse ever for an all-female track event. We're going to make sure that these female athletes are getting their due," Ohanian said at the event, produced by Axios and Deep Blue Sports + Entertainment.

  • Olympic sprinter Gabby Thomas, who was onstage with Ohanian, will be the first partner.
  • "If I were to invest in track and field right now, it would be [in] accessibility and visibility to the sport," Thomas said.
  • Thomas said track athletes are not "really incentivized as athletes to compete at every track meet" because the majority of her peers' income comes from brand partners.

Zoom out: Ohanian's early career was co-founding Reddit. In recent years, he has been an active investor in and vocal advocate of women's sports. He's the founder of venture capital firm 776, and is married to tennis champion Serena Williams.

  • Ohanian is the principal owner of the Los Angeles-based National Women's Soccer League team, Angel City. Last year, he formed a new golf team, Los Angeles Golf Club, alongside Serena and Venus Williams.

Go deeper: WNBA legend Sue Bird says NIL made athletes double as brand champions

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.

Editor's note: This story was updated with quotes from Thomas.

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