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Caroline FitzgeraldMay 31, 2024 at 10:45 AM8 min read

2024 Women’s Sports Trends Report

2024 Women’s Sports Trends Report

Breaking down what’s trending right now in women’s sports.



Sydney McLaughlin (USA) poses with gold medal winning the women's 400m hurdles in a world record 51.46 during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Olympic Stadium. The track star might shift focus to the flat 400m this year in Paris, or look to continue her dominance in the 400m hurdles (or, perhaps, attempt an audacious double). Source: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We’re almost halfway through 2024, and the biggest thing we’ve learned so far this year is that the women’s sports industry is a goldmine of opportunity. For a long time, women’s sports has been a largely untapped market - but the tide is changing quickly. From grassroots initiatives to major league expansions, the momentum of the women’s sports movement is palpable. As more attention and investment pour into the industry, here’s an overview of the “top 2024 trends to watch” that are shaping the growth trajectory of women’s sports. 


2024 Women’s Sports Trends to Watch 📈


⚽️ Expansion Opportunities. Unlike men's sports where saturation is a concern, women's sports are primed for growth & expansion. The reality is, there’s not a ton of room for growth in men’s sports right now; and if there is interest in expansion, the price tag is incredibly high. Expansion is not only possible in women’s sports, but it’s attainable - and the returns are significant. For example, in 2022, the owners of the NWSL’s San Diego Wave paid $2M in expansion fees to start the team, and a few months ago, the team sold for $113M. The expansion trend is one that is not slowing down, and when it comes to league & team expansion, this year alone we’ve seen witnessed the very successful the start of the brand new Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL), the WNBA has announced its expansion to Canada with the addition of a Toronto franchise, Women’s Elite Rugby announced they will be starting up in 2025, and we’re seeing expansion announcements & serious interest declared across the U.S.



🎽 Dedicated & Signature Merchandise. Women’s sports fans have been calling for more (and better) merchandise for years, and finally the supply is starting to meet the demand. One notable example? Signature basketball shoes for women athletes. After the successful launch of Sabrina 1’s last year, Nike has announced the creation of a signature shoe for WNBA star A’ja Wilson and that a shoe for Caitlin Clark is on the horizon. We’re also seeing retailers - like DICK’S Sporting Goods - invest in carrying more skews of women’s sports merchandise than ever before. 


nike-sabrina-shoes-1From investing in the WNBA to releasing women-led product, Nike has been committed to growing the woman’s game. Now, the brand adds one of the most dynamic young athletes in the WNBA to its roster of signature athletes. Sabrina Ionescu, point guard for the super-team New York Liberty, joins a highly-exclusive group of powerful athletes that includes Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe, Naomi Osaka, Elena Delle-Donne. Ionescu, however, is the first woman athlete to deliver a full unisex collection, with insight from both female and male athletes. Source: Sneaker News


⚡️ Brand Intervention. We’ve talked about this before, but the women’s sports industry is ripe for intervention, and brands have a unique opportunity to step in and change the trajectory of the industry for the better. Finally, we’re starting to see brands step-up and step in to disrupt the ecosystem of women’s sports and their efforts have catalyzed significant change - all while proving to be good for their bottom lines. Brands like Ally, who stepped in to put the NWSL Championship on in prime time, and brands like Google who stepped in to change how women’s sports show up when searched. We’re at the beginning of a surging growth phase for women’s sports, and brands who go all-in will be rewarded by fans for their intervening at such a crucial moment for the industry. 


🥇 First-of-Its-Kind Businesses. Women’s sports has been an underdeveloped market for a long time. Now that it’s finally started to be viewed as big business, innovative ventures are emerging to cater specifically to the burgeoning women's sports market. Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed the emergence of so many incredible first-of-their-kind businesses created JUST for women’s sports. From media platforms like Just Women’s Sports & the Women’s Sports Network, to the creation of The Sports Bra (now even more dedicated women’s sports bars!), to incredible merchandise companies like Playa Society, and to start-ups like GOALS & Parity, new ventures are popping up all the time to capitalize on the untapped growth potential of women’s sports.


SVMK Zoom header (640 x 200 px) (1280 x 400 px)


🗣️ Whistleblowing Dynamics. It’s a bit uncharacteristic to call “whistleblowing” a trend, but it’s impossible to talk about the growth of women’s sports without talking about whistleblowing; because whistleblowing is largely responsible for why all of women’s sports is trending up today. Specifically, social media has become a catalyst for change in women's sports. Women in sports are tired of receiving the “short end of the stick” and have taken to social media to say “enough is enough.” Even though the women’s sports industry has always fought for more power, money, respect, coverage, and support, whistleblowing in women’s sports is trending right now because social media has provided the industry with an incredibly effective way to uncover inequities in sports that previous generations haven’t had at their disposal. When it comes to women’s sports, doing the right thing is trending. Correcting inequities is popular. (Need more proof? Look at how much women’s March Madness has grown & changed for the better since the weight room photos went viral back in 2021.) 


🥎 Softball, Volleyball, Lacrosse, Rugby & Flag Football. Anyone who thinks that the popularity of women’s sports is limited to just basketball and soccer is being incredibly shortsighted. The trajectory of the entire women's sports ecosystem is poised for exponential growth, which of course, includes sports like softball, lacrosse, rugby, volleyball, and flag football. The simple reality is that sports fans just want to watch great sports. And the greatness in women’s sports spans far beyond just basketball and soccer. The popularity of emerging, less mainstream sports in the U.S. is growing fast. Anyone looking to score a good “deal” by investing in women’s sports should be investing early in an emerging women’s sport, because they aren’t going to be considered “emerging” for much longer.



🎰 Sports Betting. A more robust integration of sports betting into women's sports is a natural progression when it comes to fan engagement. As coverage and mass popularity of women’s sports continues to grow, fans are inevitably going to look to sports betting as a heighted way to engage with their favorite teams, leagues and athletes - and they’re already doing it. The growth of sports betting opportunities will not only enhance the fan experience, but it will also contribute to the overall commercial viability of women's sports leagues and events.


🔬 Athlete Health and Performance. For the first time (maybe in history), taking care of the well-being of women athletes is trending. We’re starting to see investments and business interest when it comes to athlete health, safety, performance enhancement, and sports science research. This “trend” is so crucial because taking care of women athletes is imperative for the long-term sustainability and success of women's sports. Innovators, businesses, brands, investors, and leaders that center the well-being of women athletes will undoubtedly find that when it comes to women’s sports, doing what is right lives alongside what is profitable. 


southwest-plaza.773e4eaaSource: KC Current


🏟️ Dedicated Facilities. As women’s sports continues to grow, it only makes sense that the infrastructure of women’s sports will grow with it. The development of dedicated facilities and infrastructure offers a huge opportunity in women’s sports, as they are something that women athletes and fans have never really experienced until recent history. Facilities like the KC Current’s CPKC Stadium - which is the first stadium in the world built specifically for women’s sports - and the Las Vegas Aces practice facility are setting a new standard when it comes to infrastructure in women’s sports. As the popularity of women’s sports continues to grow, the industry has an opportunity to invest in facilities that will support the growth of the industry. 

Investing in women’s sports offers some of the most exciting trends in the sports industry today. While the best day to invest in women’s sports was yesterday, the second best day is today. If you’ve been thinking about investing in women’s sports, there’s no better time than the present. 


About Caroline Fitzgerald
Caroline Fitzgerald (she/her) is a contributing writer for Parity and the CEO & Founder of GOALS - a women's sports marketing consultancy & media platform. Caroline launched GOALS in 2020 after recognizing that there was an opportunity to help brands, networks and fans see the social and economic value that can come from investing in women's sports. GOALS also produces the leading women's sports business podcast - 🎙️The Business Case for Women's Sports, which is presented by Ally. For more information on GOALS, visit or follow on InstagramLinkedInFacebookX (formerly Twitter) and Threads


About Parity
Minority-founded in 2020, Parity's mission is to close the gender income and opportunity gap in professional sports. By developing high-impact collaborations between brands, professional women athletes and their fans, Parity has proudly put more than $3.5 million in the pockets of women athletes, attracting dozens of brands to the movement in the process. The platform offers connections to more than 1000 women athletes from 80+ sports, including well over 200 Olympians and Paralympians. For more information on how to tap into the rapidly rising influence and popularity of women athletes, visit or follow us on InstagramLinkedInFacebookX (formerly Twitter) and Threads




Caroline Fitzgerald

Caroline Fitzgerald is a contributing writer for Parity and the CEO & Founder of GOALS - a women's sports marketing consultancy & media platform. After launching GOALS in 2020, Caroline has quickly become a force for good and thought leader in the women's sports space.