By Ken Reed

Venture capitalists Kara Nortman and Jasmine Robinson have launched a $100 million fund to invest in women’s sports around the globe.

The Monarch Collective will focus on investing in women’s teams and leagues. Initially, the fund is considering investments in women’s soccer teams in the U.S. and women’s teams and leagues in basketball, cycling, and rugby worldwide.

Nortman calls the fund “an arbitrage on sexism.”

The fund is definitely not designed as just a philanthropic effort, however. Nortman says professional women’s sports are starting to break through with more sponsors and television contracts and represent an opportunity for large financial returns. She says she was motivated to start investing in women’s sports as a result of her experience analyzing potential industries primed for growth. Women’s pro sports sponsorships grew 20% in 2022.

Women’s sports have been gaining a lot more national attention during the last couple years. Recently, the NCAA Women’s Final Four basketball tournament garnered record TV ratings and media coverage.

“These cultural moments, combined with new media and content distribution opportunities, create this unique moment where women’s sports can scale and grow,” says Robinson.

Danette Leighton, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation, says her organization has seen a “growing groundswell of investment” in women’s sports. “There is tremendous value in women’s leagues, teams and athletes that can positively impact the bottom line,” says Leighton. She hopes the increase in investments in female sports will “pave a path to progress for more sponsorship dollars, media coverage, and pay equity for women, both on and off the field of play — in the front office, the boardroom and beyond.”

In fact, studies have shown that sports participation has boosted the business careers of women. A 2018 study by Ernst & Young revealed that 94% of women who hold C-suite positions are former athletes.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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