Why Brands Are Finally Choosing More Female Athletes for Big Endorsement Deals

Women are no longer sitting on the sidelines

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In the male-centric sports world, where the likes of LeBron James score $65 million in endorsement deals, female athletes have largely been an afterthought. But thanks to a constellation of superstars—including a reenergized U.S. women's soccer team, powerhouse tennis players and UFC's unbreakable Ronda Rousey—more marketing dollars are ending up in the pockets of female sports figures.

With the exception of tennis, women athletes historically have not racked up lucrative contracts with brands. On Forbes' recent list of the world's highest-paid athletes, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams were the only women to crack the top 100, racking up $23 million and $13 million in endorsements, respectively.



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