6 Women In Sports With Must-See 2023 Brand Partnerships

Women‘s sports are entering a new era defined by accelerated viewership growth, higher revenues, and athletes seizing their moment as change-makers on a global stage.

According to Deloitte‘s 2023 Women‘s Sports Survey, over 70% of sports industry executives predict at least 15% revenue growth in women’s sports in the next 3-5 years. With these tailwinds, brands from Crocs to Rolex are investing record sums to align with standout talents.

As a small business consultant who assists entrepreneurs in scaling their ventures, I‘m always analyzing partnership opportunities with an eye for strategic value creation. The following deals caught my attention as prime examples of mutually beneficial arrangements – both for the brands and barrier-breaking female athletes involved.

Soccer Phenom Sophia Smith Inks Deal with BioSteel

At only 22 years old, forward Sophia Smith has erupted as a top scorer for the US Women‘s National Team (USWNT) and NWSL‘s Portland Thorns. Her 12 goals in just 25 caps last year set the stage for Sophia to be a marquee name at this summer‘s FIFA Women‘s World Cup.

BioSteel‘s choice to lock Smith down as an ambassador makes perfect sense from a business perspective. As the competition for share of voice mounts in the sports nutrition category, the brand gains an ascendant star with infectious charisma and 242k Instagram followers.

And for Sophia, whose projected career earnings could reach up to $5M annually, this deal provides financial security as she cements herself as the new face of women‘s soccer in America.

Emma Talley Extends Partnership with National Restoration Brand

On the links, Emma Talley continues her steady rise with two LPGA Tour victories and a growing reputation as an ambassador for women‘s golf. Off the course, she devotes time to the Emma Talley Golf Foundation, which hosts camps and clinics to introduce young girls to the sport.

So when national restoration franchise SERVPRO moved to extend its sponsorship of Emma through 2024, it represented a strategic alignment between her competitive excellence and community leadership.

For SERVPRO, attaching its brand to Emma‘s rising stardom and nonprofit efforts hits the target demographic of homeowners needing emergency repair services. And with another top pro in Anna Nordqvist also signed on, SERVPRO is strategically positioned in the women‘s game.

Elite Climber Kimber Cross Continues Breaking Barriers with The North Face

Record-holding adaptive climber Kimber Cross views mountain climbing as the ultimate test of problem-solving. Born without a right hand, she pioneered new prosthetic limbs and techniques that opened high-altitude mountaineering to more people.

As The North Face’s first-ever athlete partner with a physical disability, she’ll help the iconic outdoor brand innovate more inclusive gear and inspire the next generation.

For Kimber, the chance to work with TNF labs represents the opportunity to enhance accessibility of the sports she loves while serving as a role model. This innovative partnership demonstrates the wider mission she described to Glamour magazine to redefine limits.

Sunisa Lee To Show Off Trendy Crocs as Part of Major NIL Agreement

Bursting onto the global sports scene after capturing Olympic all-around gold at age 18, gymnast Sunisa Lee quickly won over fans with her infectious positivity. Now balancing NCAA and elite training for a 2024 Olympics run, Lee sports one of the most lucrative NIL deals in women‘s sports with Crocs.

As Crocs rides soaring demand for its iconic clogs, especially among Gen Z consumers, Sunisa helps update perceptions of the brand. Her bubbly social media presence that garnered 1 million Instagram followers last year will give Crocs fresh appeal.

For Sunisa, she can focus on her gymanstics career while repping a brand gaining serious cultural cachet. Crocs even designed custom Jibbitz charms in her honor!

New Mom Allyson Felix Teams Up with Athleta to Support Mothers In Sports

Even in retirement from her historic track & field career, Allyson Felix continues breaking new ground as an advocate for women‘s sports. The most decorated American Olympic track athlete ever with 11 medals, Allyson made headlines by speaking out about the lack of support for mothers in competition.

She found the perfect partner for her mission in Athleta. Together they launched The Power of She Fund, which provides child care grants for mothers returning to sports.

As I advise entrepreneurs seeking meaningful partnerships, I highlight the shared values this brand/athlete pairing displays. Allyson‘s determination to drive systemic change matches Athleta‘s commitments to women‘s empowerment and inclusive athletics.

Tennis Pioneer Ons Jabeur Becomes Part of Naomi Osaka‘s Talent Agency

As the 2nd ranked women‘s player in the world, Tunisian tennis trailblazer Ons Jabeur has fans praising her barrier-breaking play and warm spirit. Seeded 2nd at this year‘s Australian Open, Ons made history last season as the first African/Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final.

When tennis icon Naomi Osaka launched her own talent agency Evolve, bringing on Ons seemed like an obvious match. Together two of the sports’ biggest stars can raise the profile of women’s tennis globally.

For Ons, affiliation with Evolve and its high-profile clients signals her growing superstar status. And her rising brand power will continue opening doors to new partnerships off-court.

The meteoric visibility of women athletes coupled with these standout brand collaborations make 2023 the year of opportunity in women‘s sports. As fandom and corporate investment accelerate, expect even more boundary-breaking partnerships soon that drive positive impact on and off the field of play.