But Lindsey believes that is changing because of the power of women consumers. “They control the purse strings, they are passionate and prevalent as fans and the most important part is what is happening recently, which is they have a voice and are radically unafraid to use it,” said Lindsey.
Rapinoe is one of a growing number of female American athletes who have become stars, and in many cases outshine their male counterparts. Morgan and Rapinoe are better known than most of the men’s national soccer team, and American women regularly win more Olympic medals than American men. In sports like tennis, running and gymnastics, the most famous American athletes are women.
In addition to running his company, Casey Wasserman is the chairman of L.A. 2028, the local organizing committee for the 2028 Olympics. In that capacity he will be a part of the entity that is selling advertising for the United States Olympic Committee and the three preceding Olympics as well. He said there was no conflict of interest between representing and selling L.A. 2028, and representing potential Olympic athletes and securing sponsorships for them through efforts like The Collective.
“Obviously they are completely separate entities, and lines we draw very clearly,” he said. “I’m a volunteer for L.A. 2028, I don’t get paid,” adding that, “L.A. 2028 in its bylaws will never hire Wasserman for any business, period.”
Structurally, The Collective will have a small staff dedicated to its day-to-day operations, with various Wasserman executives and agents working on The Collective projects. Athletes will still be represented by their agents, but they will also be supported by The Collective. The task is a nuanced one.
It is not as simple as telling potential sponsors that girls and women follow women’s sports, and therefore companies should use women athletes to reach them. During the most recent Women’s World Cup, countless boys and men rooted for the American women just as strenuously as their sisters, wives and daughters.
Men and women “care equally about sports, they just consume it in different ways for different reasons,” said Lindsey. To figure out what those reasons are, she said, just ask them. “The best way to talk to women, is to talk to women.”
Lindsey said competition within this segment of the market could grow quickly, which is something she and colleagues welcome. “I hope more people pay attention to this,” she said. “I hope people realize what a valuable demographic this audience is.”