Adweek’s 2021 Most Powerful Women in Sports: 34 Leaders Moving Athletics Forward for Everyone

These all-star execs—and one undisputed GOAT of an athlete—are elevating their teams, leagues, brands and clients

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. These remarkable women continued to innovate, push for diversity and inclusivity, and move sports forward while elevating their teams, leagues, brands and clients. We’re proud to recognize this year’s class, alongside cover star Simone Biles, and honor their noteworthy accomplishments, made all the more remarkable for having been performed in what is still very much a white male-dominated domain.

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This story first appeared in the Nov. 15, 2021, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.