If you are looking for examples of solidarity in sports, look no further than the professional women's leagues. Last month, eight leagues came together in a new initiative - SheIS - to support each other's efforts in increasing revenue, viewership, and attendance. The leagues include the WNBA, Canada Women's Hockey League, U.S. Tennis Association, Women's Pro Fastpitch League, Canada Basketball, Women's Pro Lacrosse League, Rugby Canada, and the National Women's Hockey League.
The premise is that women have to support other women before they ask for support from a wider fan base. Participating league commissioners signed a pledge to attend one another's events and, subsequently encourage their fans to attend other women's sporting events.
SheIS was founded by Brenda Andress, commission of the CWHL with the hope that cross-promotion will benefit not just their league, but everyone's. At a recent event for the founding members, Dr. Jen Walter spoke: "SheIS will give the first true platform for these real-world, real-women heroes who have been living among us. With that comes the opportunity to be much more visible and for female athletes and their supporters to join forces in a really positive way. I love that this bubbling movement is coming from the sports industry, because sports has the ability to change the world.” These women have committed to being collaborative rather than competitive and hope it will have a positive impact for their current players, as well as young girls pursuing careers in sports.
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