Sports’ Biggest Stars Announce Their Official Support of Women’s Sports Initiative The Fan Project

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World champion athletes Pau Gasol, Laurie Hernandez, Abby Wambach, Andy Dalton, Sanya Richards-Ross, and former NFL coach Jen Welter lend their voices to The Fan Project to support the goal of accelerating investment into women’s sports.

Olympic and Pro Sports Stars Lend Their Support to The Fan Project

There’s absolutely nothing like sports. Investing in women sports is one of the best investments we can make in our future because we all know the future is female!

Earlier this year, market intelligence firm Sports Innovation Lab launched a first of its kind initiative dedicated to collecting fan data to prove the demand for women’s sports. Today, some of the sports world’s biggest sports stars have announced their official support of the program including:

  • Pau Gasol, 6X NBA All-Star & 2X NBA Champion
  • Abby Wambach, 2X Olympic Gold Medalist & FIFA Women's World Cup Champion
  • Laurie Hernandez, 2X Olympic Medalist
  • Sanya Richards-Ross, 3X Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Andy Dalton, Chicago Bears Quarterback
  • Jen Welter, First Female NFL Coach

Since its launch, The Fan Project has had a single goal: to utilize fan social media data to highlight the enthusiasm behind women’s sports, and make the case for why investing in the women’s sports community is a savvy business decision. As official ambassadors of The Fan Project, this list of all-star athletes are encouraging fans to join The Fan Project to harness the power of data to prove to sponsors and investors that fans want more women’s sports.

“For too long the industry has relied on the same old, outdated metrics such as broadcast viewership to dictate where fan interest lies,” says Laurie Hernandez. “We all know there is tremendous activity on social media that would prove an immense hunger for women’s sports content - we just needed something like The Fan Project to finally bring this to light.”

The Fan Project is collecting social media files with the intention of anonymously analyzing all of the fan-provided data to write and publicly publish a report that showcases the opportunity that exists for broadcasters, sponsors, and investors to further lean into women’s sports. To reward fans for their participation, many of the athlete ambassadors are participating in intimate “virtual hangouts” with those fans who donate their data. Up to 40 fans will be able to join each athlete in a Zoom meetup to chat directly with the athlete about their love for women’s sports, and what we can all do to overcome the challenges women’s sports and athletes face today.

The first Athlete Ambassador Virtual Hangout will be with Laurie Hernandez, Olympic gold medalist and member of the famous “Final Five” on April 19th at 3:30pm ET, and only the first 40 fans who submit their data will receive an invite for the exclusive hangout. Submissions open today, and fans can head to to participate. More Hangouts will be announced soon, and fans can sign up for The Fan Project mailing list to hear each time a new hangout is open for registration.

Along with the athlete ambassadors, The Fan Project is supported by leagues and associations including WNBA, NWHL, LPGA, USTA, WTA, WWE, UFC, SheIs, Women’s Sports Foundation, and more.

“Women, like Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Serena Williams, powerhouses in women sports have had an immeasurable impact on my life. By becoming a female athlete myself I gained my confidence and learned that I could achieve anything I worked hard at,” says Sanya Richards-Ross. “There’s absolutely nothing like sports. Investing in women sports is one of the best investments we can make in our future because we all know the future is female!”

For more information on The Fan Project and a full list of participating partners, please visit

About Sports Innovation Lab
Sports Innovation Lab is leading a sports research revolution. Sports Innovation Lab exists to educate clients on the technological possibilities for their brand and how to ultimately drive value to the end consumer: the Fluid Fans™. Sports Innovation Lab inspires brands to create breakthrough fan experiences through data-driven technology insights and industry-leading research. You can learn more about Sports Innovation Lab at

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Gina Waldhorn
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