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After a pandemic year that upended athletics as much as any industry, 2021 saw the gradual return of fans to the sports they love. Tokyo hosted the 2020 Olympics (without spectators) on a one-year delay, professional teams implemented Covid-19 vaccine requirements and safety protocols for players and spectators, and Americans’ engagement with sports—in person, in esports, and on TV and streaming services—remained high. Adweek’s 2021 Most Powerful Women in Sports helped the industry turn that corner.