Adweek Celebrates “The Most Powerful Women in Sports”

U.S. Women’s Soccer superstar Alex Morgan 2019 kicks off the annual list

NEW YORK (July 8, 2019) — Adweek today released its annual “Most Powerful Women in Sports” honorees, featuring indomitable soccer star Alex Morgan on the cover and 29 other game changers on and off the field—from Alexys Feaster (NBA), Barbara McHugh (MLB), Charlotte Jones Anderson (Dallas Cowboys) and Jill Gregory (Nascar) to Celeste Burgoyne (Lululemon), Katie Myers (CAA Brand Consulting) and Kelly Dunne (CBS Sports Marketing).

“We’re excited to celebrate these remarkable women,” says Lisa Granatstein, Adweek’s editor and svp of programming. “When you read about their accomplishments and how hard they work to elevate o

thers, it’s easy to see why every single one of them is an MVP.”

In addition to sharing turning points in their career, the best advice they ever received and the rules they think deserve to be broken (“They all do,” quips Laura Miele, chief studios officer of Electronic Arts), our honorees reveal the female sports figures and breathtaking moments that inspired and helped shape who they are today.

The NHL’s Kimberly Davis rhapsodizes about Althea Gibson, the first great African-American player in women’s tennis. Janet Marie Smith of the L.A. Dodgers cites umpire Perry Barber. For Val Ackerman of the Big East Conference, Nadia Comaneci’s perfect-10 performance in the uneven bars competition at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games was a high-water mark. And Brandi Chastain’s unforgettable goal at the Women’s World Cup in 1999—after which she tore off her shirt—“was everything,” says Johanna Faries of Activision Blizzard Esports.

Extended versions of all 30 profiles and highlights will be published online at on July 8.

The complete list of “The Most Powerful Women in Sports”:

  • Alex Morgan, co-captain, U.S. Women’s National Team; forward, Orlando Pride
  • Alexys Feaster, Senior Director, Player Development, NBA
  • Alisha Valavanis, CEO and General Manager, Seattle Storm & Force 10 Sports Management
  • Barbara McHugh, SVP, Marketing, MLB
  • Celeste Burgoyne, EVP, Americas and Global Guest Innovation, Lululemon
  • Charlotte Jones Anderson, EVP, Chief Brand Officer, Dallas Cowboys
  • Christy Hedgpeth, COO, WNBA
  • Cynt Marshall, CEO, Dallas Mavericks
  • Janet Marie Smith, SVP, Planning and Development, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Jennifer Storms, CMO and EVP, Content Strategy, NBC Sports Group
  • Jill Gregory, EVP, CMO, Nascar
  • JoAnn Neale, President and Chief Administrative Officer, MLS
  • Johanna Faries, Commissioner, Call of Duty League, Activision Blizzard Esports
  • Katie Myers, Executive, CAA Brand Consulting
  • Kelly Dunne, EVP, CBS Sports Marketing
  • Kim Davis, EVP, Social Impact, Growth & Legislative Affairs, NHL
  • Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer, Electronic Arts
  • Lindsay Kagawa Colas, SVP, Women and Olympics, Wasserman
  • Lynne Biggar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Visa
  • Michelle Peluso, SVP, Digital Sales, CMO, IBM
  • Renie Anderson, EVP and Chief Revenue Officer, NFL
  • Ronalee Zarate-Bayani, CMO, LA Rams
  • Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer, WWE
  • Val Ackerman, Commissioner, Big East Conference
  • Deborah Wahl, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Cadillac
  • Monica Rustgi, VP, Marketing, Budweiser
  • Diana O’Brien, Global CMO, Deloitte
  • Laura Gentile, SVP, Marketing, ESPN
  • Lou Taylor, Founder and CEO, Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group
  • Claudia Teran, EVP, general counsel, Fox Sports

This year, Adweek rebranded the popular Women in Media and Sports event, which had been an extension of Disruptors, as the Women Trailblazers Summit. On July 16, executive decision makers will gather in New York City to celebrate and learn from the influential women who are
leading cultural change in the worlds of media, marketing, entertainment, technology and sports. Speakers include Erin Andrews (Fox Sports), Sarah Hofstetter (Campbell’s), KatieKeating (Fancy) and Katie O’Reilly (Philadelphia 76ers). For tickets and more details, go to

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