• Monday, May 27, 2024
businessday logo


Here are 8 female entrepreneurs shaking up the sports business

Here are 8 female entrepreneurs shaking up the sports business

It was John Wooden, a U.S basketball coach speaking on the expediency of people keeping their dreams alive, said, “Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.”

Here are the eight female entrepreneurs shaking up the sports business.

Allyson Felix:

Allyson is a sprint athlete, who was noticed early in her career by Nike, and offered her a juicy deal.

However, a few months later, Allyson got pregnant and Nike terminated the contract with allegations that she would never be in shape after giving birth.

Despite all the difficulties, she maintained her pregnancy and worse still had a caesarean section giving birth.
Ten months later she made the decision to dare the odds and went back to training.

The world at large were stunned when Allyson won all her races and even broke Usain Bolt’s record for world titles and now has over 14 gold medals at the Championships. Nike tried calling her again but she refused the offer and launched her own shoe brand, which now earns much more than any shoe brand in the world would pay her. Allyson Felix is worth over $4.5 million today for daring the odds.

Sally Bergesen:

She is the founder/CEO, Oiselle, an athletic apparel company in Seattle, USA. Sally also filled a gap in the market after, as a passionate runner, she was often unable to find her needs reflected in brands.

She has been conquering the market since 2007 with running clothing specially designed for women. Today, Sally Bergesen is considered one of the most exciting founders in the industry!

Donna Carpenter:

Donna became the chair and co-owner of Burton 2020. She is not the fulcrum behind the world’s leading snowboard brand Burton. She also stands for equality and has always been a good role model.

Prior to the coming forth of quotas in the firm, Donna made sure that female managers were present, since 1982 all athletes have received the same bonus at the Burton US Open and she even restructured the company so that women do not have to choose between a career and children. Her net worth is estimated at $700million. Anne-Laure Descours: Anne-Laure is the chief sourcing officer at Puma. She is a prime model of how to balance career and motherhood. That is why she chose Hong Kong as her adopted home over 20 years ago and has since enjoyed the freedom to develop as a woman on the executive floor at Puma. In her opinion, there is one crucial parameter missing in order to advance women in business in Germany: an environment that is designed for working mothers.

Ellie Evans:

Ellie is the founder and CEO at Elle Evans Swimwear, founded in 2013. The swimwear label Elle Evans combines a sustainable vision with modern, fashionable designs and is aimed at people who are passionate about the future and fashion. Ellie, the face behind the brand is a talented, forward-thinking and humble founder.

Ty Haney:

Ty is the founder of OutDoor Voices, a sports outfit brand established in 2014, with the vision to be sportswear the hottest trend among non-athletes.

She stepped down as CEO of the company in 2020, with Gabrielle Conforti following in her footsteps. Today, Ty works in companies such as Get Joggy, which focuses on performance supplements with CBD and THCV, and Try your Best, a platform that allows brands to collect contributions from customers and receive rewards in return. Franziska Hannig: She is the founder of Inaska, a sportswear and swimwear outfit. Franziska, a nutrition and consumer economics graduate, knew clearly what she wanted at some point in her career, to leave a positive impact. Today she lives this with her brand Inaska, a sportswear and swimwear brand that is sustainable and looks good on athletes. This is particularly evident in the leftover collection. This is where “good mood colour blocking” meets leftover fabrics from Ortovox. Franziska has a foresight of how future fashion works!

Tamara Hill-Norton:

Tamara is the founder and creative director at Sweaty Betty. After opening the first Sweaty Betty store in Notting Hill in 1998, the British company grew rapidly and was named “Sports Retailer of the Year” by the Sports Industries Federation in 2001.

The business idea was born out of the lack of sportswear stores for women who led an active lifestyle. Sweaty Betty’s goal is to make women feel strong and beautiful through fitness.

Tamara embraced this philosophy and created one of contemporary’s biggest international sportswear brands. She is a luminary in the industry, and perhaps the first female entrepreneur to leave her mark on the sports business world to this day.

Kristen Holmes:

Kristen is the vice-president of Performance Science, WHOOP. She played and coached field hockey at the highest level for more than two decades and from experience she knows the topic of the menstrual cycle still receives too little attention in connection with training. She recognises that specific insight into female physiology can provide new insights that will help women train, sleep and recover smarter. As the vice-president at WHOOP, she brings her values to bear in the best possible way. Because the company offers digital fitness and health coaching. In addition to the stylish minimalist and comfortable wearable, she introduced a new menstrual cycle coaching app for female athletes.

Melanie Hood:

Melanie is the marketing and communications director at Scarpa North America. She launched the Scarpa Athlete Mentorship Initiative.

Melanie has had a vision of diversity ever since she started at Scarpa, bringing athletes such as Nikki Smith, Mo Beck and Sam Elias onto the ambassador team.

For Melanie, it was clear that more inclusion was needed in the sports and outdoor industry and that more athletes from historically marginalised communities needed to reach a high level of athleticism. With the help of the Scarpa community, she has already brought 30 athletes together with aspiring athletes.