On Thursday, the National Women’s Soccer League announced that it is joining the leadership group of SheIS, a women’s sports initiative that focuses on growing awareness and support for women’s sports.
We're joining the team and taking the pledge.
— NWSL (@NWSL) July 26, 2018
National Women’s Soccer League news release:
CHICAGO (July 26, 2018) – SheIS announced today that the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the World Boxing Council, the World Surf League, and the Western Women’s Canadian Football League will join its Collective of sports organizations. It also announced a number of new additions to it’s list of Athlete Ambassadors. The women’s sports initiative, which launched in May, made history by being the first organization to bring together leagues, organizations, athletes, and business leaders from across the men’s and women’s sports world in support of one cause – to grow the awareness and support of women sports.
In a time when every industry is taking a hard look at how women are being treated in the workplace, SheIS and the Collective was formed to create new opportunities for increasing the viewership and attendance of women’s sports at all levels. The new additions to this group join an already strong base of North American sports organizations and individuals, including the WNBA, US Tennis Association, WWE, Canada Basketball, National Women’s Pro Fastpitch League, National Women’s Hockey League, Women’s Pro Lacrosse League, the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, Canada Rugby, and Canada Baseball. All of the supporters are pledging to empower all female athletes, professional and amateur, and encourage growth in fan attendance and viewership.
SheIS Founder, Brenda Andress said, “We are extremely excited to welcome our newest leaders to sit among the SheIS Collective, further cross-pollinating our efforts and embracing the power within our leagues and with their amazing athletes. By strengthening this group, we are showing the sports world that we are ready to up our game and showing everyone that we can have a positive impact on women’s sports.”
Founded in 2017, SheIS fills a noticeable gap in the sports industry, where female athletes may feel marginalized and underrepresented, with a powerful vision to use positivity, respect and support to empower women who choose a career in sports. With the goal of increasing viewership and attendance of women’s sports in North America, as well as participation at the amatuer level, SheIS encourages a cross-pollination of women’s sports, while challenging fans to attend games and use social media to champion women in sports.
“We are pleased to partner with the members of SheIS and look forward to working alongside these organizations to elevate the support and visibility for all women’s sports,” said NWSL Managing Director Amanda Duffy. “Led by our world-class athletes, NWSL strives to inspire current and future generations to be active in sports, and leaders in life. By participating in this initiative, we join the strength of these indomitable leaders working in women’s professional sports to amplify awareness of opportunities at all levels.”
Along with welcoming the new leagues into the organization, SheIS also welcomes a number of new Athlete Ambassadors, including the NWSL athletes such as Lindsay Agnew, Michelle Betos, Aubrey Bledsoe, Alex Morgan, Kailen Sheridan, and Nikki Stanton, and the World Boxing Council Champions Christy Martin, Heather Hardy and Jelena Mrdjenovich, amongst many others. The full list can be found on the SheIS website.
WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said, “WSL is honored to support SheIS as we all look to celebrate all women in sport. Surfing is incredibly lucky to have many iconic, value-led athletes drawn from across the world, from Stephanie Gilmore, chasing an incredible 7th World title, to 16-year-old rookie Caroline Marks, Big Wave Surfer Paige Alms to Bethany Hamilton, and many more. Just this May at our inaugural Founder’s Cup, we saw co-ed teams, often led by women, compete and win in front of sellout crowds. Our women surfers are an inspiration to many.”
The initiative garnered national and international coverage at launch, and continues to gain momentum with the announcement of these new partnerships. Together, they will support the growth of the SheIS Challenge in 2018, which encourages the general public to join league leadership, athletes, and prominent business leaders in and outside of the sports industry, in watching or attending women’s sporting events across North America. By posting to social media channels using #SheISChallenge, and challenging friends, family, and colleagues to go watch or attend women’s sporting events throughout the year, the Collective hopes to build awareness and resources for women’s sports. The sports leagues will also begin hosting SheIS events and running co-branded promotions to help facilitate further opportunities for people to engage with women’s sports.
In addition to the SheIS Challenge, the initiative continues to focus on driving funding into amatuer sports participation through the SheIS Fund. This fund aims to help build the talent pipeline of future professional athletes includes a partnership with Fast & Female, an established North American nonprofit organization founded by Olympic Gold Medalist, Chandra Crawford.
For more information about SheIS, please visit www.sheissport.com.
Founded in 2017 and launched to the public on May 1, 2018, SheIS was established with a mission to use the power of women’s sports to create a future of, by, and for strong women. It focuses on the positive attributes of sport to acknowledge and elevate women, and celebrates those who are collective powerhouses and unwavering cheerleaders for their fellow athletes at all skill levels. The SheIS Collective includes leaders from every major sport, and represents the first time in history that all of these sports leagues and organizations have stood together in support of one cause. To learn more, visit www.sheissport.com or follow the team on social media @teamsheis.