"Not just racism & sexism; a legacy of gross business incompetence" - Serena Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian on the underinvestment in women's sports

Angel City FC (L) and Alexis Ohanian (R)
Angel City FC (L) and Alexis Ohanian (R)

Serena Williams' husband and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has cited business incompetence as the primary reason for the lack of investment in women's sports.

Ohanian made a significant investment of $100 million in Angel City FC, a start-up club that joined the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in 2022. The tech entrepreneur attributed his decision to invest in the club to his daughter, Olympia.

Angel City FC already has a roster of high-profile celebrity investors. This includes Serena Williams, Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Garner, Uzo Aduba, and Jessica Chastain.

During a recent conversation with Bloomberg Quicktake, Alexis Ohanian shed light on the reasons behind the underinvestment in women's sports.

According to him, the root cause of this issue is the low expectations that people have from women's sports. Ohanian further elaborated that the legacy of underinvestment in the last few decades cannot be solely attributed to racism and sexism, but also to business incompetence.

"I mean it’s the curse of low expectations," Ohanian said. "When we look back on the legacy of underinvestment in the last, call it 50 years, it will not just be a legacy of sexism and racism, which it is. It'll be a legacy of gross business incompetence."

When asked about how to build a brand around women's sports, the 40-year-old advised that the key is to cultivate a devoted fan base on a global scale. Additionally, he also mentioned that it is crucial to consistently elevate the standard of brand partnerships.

"You build a rabid, dogged fan base all over the world. You continue to raise the bar on brand partnerships. You continue to demonstrate the value," Ohanian said.
"Women's sports fans are such amazing supporters because they’ll buy into the brands that are partnered with the clubs. Right? I mean there’s real value there."

Alexis Ohanian explains how his daughter Olympia's love for soccer inspired him to co-found Angel City FC

Alexis Ohanian and Olympia Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian and Olympia Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian stated last month that the driving force behind his decision to co-found and spearhead investments in Angel City FC. The American entrepreneur's unwavering passion for promoting gender equality and empowering women in sports was the catalyst for his involvement with the soccer club.

During an interview with "On Her Turf," he delved into his daughter Olympia's fervent love for soccer and how it influenced his decision to invest in Angel City FC.

Ohanian explained that the idea dawned on him while he was watching the US Women's National Team's victorious performance in the 2019 World Cup. He was accompanied by his wife, Serena Williams, and their daughter.

"A big part of the reason why I started Angel City FC was because Olympia was running around - this is 2019 - in a Alex Morgan jersey," Ohanian recalled.

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Edited by Anantaajith Raghuraman
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