What does the NWSL want it to be? 2022-04-28 10:24:31


If the first shift in momentum in the league was the teamwork of its players, the second was the introduction of a club like Angel City, a team conceived, founded and run by women.

“We wanted to show that we are different,” said Orman, the team leader. “We can drive with intent but also have a goal to be profitable. And to show that this is a real business, investing in women and investing in women’s sports is actually a good investment.”

Angel City executives look forward to discussing the club’s goals, which include a focus on investing in Los Angeles – where club sponsors are required to put 10 percent of the value of their sponsorship into local organizations – and equity for players. Angel City players who allow their image to be used to promote the club, for example, will receive 1% of net ticket revenue this season.

However, it is difficult to follow in the footsteps of being seen as a charity and as a business opportunity celebrity dust – All while dispatching a competitive team.

“The shiny shell, amazing shooting process, and great branding on social media are one thing, but how will that actually affect the live experience of these athletes?” said Courtney M. Cox, an assistant professor at the University of Oregon who studies issues of work, identity and technology in sports. “What does this actually do to anyone other than the investors themselves who can say, ‘Look I have a team’?”

Compounding the glowing reception Angel City has received is the assumption that the club founded by women – Orman, actresses Natalie Portman and Cara Nortman, is a venture capitalist – and majority-owned by women somehow ensures that things will be better for the female players. .

“To say, ‘We’re going to buy this team, and so we’re empowering women’—what would you empower them to do? Why would you empower them?” said Sarah Bennett Weiser, professor of communications at the Annenberg Schools at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California. “If it is just about continuing to grow the brand, how will that change the sexual structure of athletics?”