NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman Drives League's Explosive Growth

NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman has led the league to exponential growth, with record-breaking franchise sales and expansions. The league has also secured groundbreaking media rights deals with four national partners, worth $60 million annually.

Bijay Laxmi
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NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman Drives League's Explosive Growth

NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman Drives League's Explosive Growth

Under the leadership of Commissioner Jessica Berman, the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) has experienced exponential growth in franchise values, sponsorship interest, media rights revenue, and relevance in the American sports consciousness over the past two years.

In 2022, Michele Kang purchased the Washington Spirit for $35 million, and Berman initiated expansion, awarding three new franchises in 2023 to ownership groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, Utah, and Boston, with two paying a record $53 million to join the league. The $53 million peak price has since been topped twice by existing franchise sales, including $63 million for the Portland Thorns and a staggering $113 million for the San Diego Wave.

Berman's efforts have attracted deep-pocketed investors willing to invest heavily in their clubs, positioning the league for further growth. The NWSL's new ownership groups include influential figures and organizations from various industries, bringing valuable expertise and resources to the table.

In addition to the league's expansion, Berman has secured groundbreaking media rights deals with four national partners: CBS, ESPN, Amazon, and Scripps. These deals, worth a combined $60 million annually, offer the NWSL unprecedented exposure, giving new sports fans the opportunity to engage with women's soccer like never before.

The increased visibility and investment in the NWSL have not gone unnoticed by major brands. Berman has capitalized on the growing business interest in women's sports, securing partnerships like Marriott's activation with the Manchester United Summer Tour in New York City. As more companies recognize the value and potential of the NWSL, the league is poised to attract even more lucrative sponsorships and collaborations.

Under Jessica Berman's leadership, the NWSL has experienced unprecedented growth, with record-breaking franchise sales, expansions, and media rights deals. As the league continues to gain momentum, it is clear that Berman's strategic vision and business acumen have positioned the NWSL for long-term success, solidifying its place as a major force in the American sports landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • NWSL franchise values have experienced exponential growth under Commissioner Jessica Berman.
  • New franchises sold for a record $53 million, topped by existing sales of $63 million and $113 million.
  • NWSL secured $60 million annual media rights deals with CBS, ESPN, Amazon, and Scripps.
  • Deep-pocketed investors and influential figures have joined the league, bringing valuable expertise.
  • NWSL has attracted major brands, including Marriott, with lucrative sponsorships and collaborations.