When it comes to sports, mostly males dominate the sports industry. Yes, females have played a more active role through the years, but you can still see the inequality in role expectations, athlete investments, endorsements, and exposure. But women can now have a seat at the table when it comes to the Sports Industry with Abby Wambach’s leadership.
All About Abby Wambach
Abby Wambach is no stranger to the sports industry. She is a US retired soccer player, coach, and member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. She won the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award for six years, among her many achievements. Wambach consistently played for the U.S. women’s national soccer team for a whopping twelve years. Abby is also the highest all-time goal scorer for the national team and is second in international goals for female and male soccer players with 184 goals. She was hailed as the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year – which gave her the distinction to become the first American woman to win the award in ten years. She was included on the 2015 Time 100 list as one of the most influential people in the world. Abby is also one of the team’s founding investors of Angel City FC, and she is one of the most renowned board members of Gatorade’s Women Advisory Board.
One of the platforms of Abby Wambach, as she sits in Gatorade’s Women Advisory Board, is her Fuel Tomorrow initiative. With the mindset: “If you can see it, you can be it,” Abby hopes to even out the playing field in the sports industry. This includes investments in community programs, access to sports facilities and resources, and training for coaches on equity and inclusion. For many other companies, establishing the Women’s Board is the endgame with no concrete plans on moving forward. What is different with Gatorade’s Fuel Tomorrow campaign is that it plans to implement programs that would support females in their sports journey, including penetrating communities and funding females appropriately.
The Fuel Tomorrow Program has a whopping $10 million initial investment supported by big sports organizations such as Athlete Ally, Good Sports, Honest Game Foundation, Laureus USA, and the Women’s Sports Foundation. These organizations aim to see a better future for females in the sports industry.
Aside from funding female athletes, part of Fuel Tomorrow will also be directed towards female coaches. 10 percent of Gatorade’s sponsorship funds will develop conduits for female coaches. This is especially relevant in today’s culture because of the high turnover rate of female coaches in the sports industry. This aspect of Fuel Tomorrow is a point of pride for Abby since she is aware that the sports coaching platform highlights male leadership as this environment was specifically built for males. Rarely do you see female coaches leading male teams – and those who do are subject to unfair media perceptions. It is great the Fuel Tomorrow campaign takes care not just of female athletes but also provides opportunities for female coaches to exhibit their leadership capabilities in a previously male-dominated industry.