As a kid, Haley Rosen played all the sports but quickly fell in love with soccer. She


As a kid, Haley Rosen played all the sports but quickly fell in love with soccer. She played soccer through her school years and was skilled at the game. When it was time for college, Stanford recruited Rosen to play on its women’s soccer team. While playing there, she made All-Pac 12 midfielder. After Stanford, she played pro soccer in the United States and abroad; however, injuries cut her career short.

After Rosen retired from soccer, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to work in the tech sector.

It was the first time she noticed the lack of media coverage for women’s sports. Rosen wanted to follow the teams she had been a part of and her friends who were still playing but was not able to find a way to do so. Stated simply, there was little to no coverage of women’s sports. She thought this was a missed opportunity. When Rosen was in college and playing professional soccer, things looked great for women’s soccer—attendance at events was increasing and the sport had all kinds of momentum. So, Rosen wondered, why the lack of coverage from mainstream media?

Rosen did some digging and found some interesting statistics. While 44 percent of athletes are women, only 4 percent of sports media coverage focuses on women’s sports. Financially, only 1.5 percent of media rights go to women’s sports teams, and female athletes receive a fraction of the pay received by their male counterparts. The other thing Rosen noticed when looking at the coverage that was available is that the media did not treat women’s sports as though they were sports. Much of the content focused on lifestyle issues, and the storylines focused more on what the female athletes were doing off the court than on the court. There was also an underlying sentiment that women’s sports needed to be “supported,” as if they were a charity. The implicit assumption, in Rosen’s mind, was that the media did not think that the product itself—
women’s soccer, women’s basketball, women’s tennis, and so on—was good enough to watch. It needed to be supplemented by lifestyle content, like what clothing the athletes were wearing or what they were doing off the court, to be watchable.
Rosen’s experience was different. Having been part of the soccer world for most of her life, she thought female athletes were very impressive and that the best way to grow women’s sports was to treat them like sports. That meant focusing more on the games themselves—the rivalries, the clutch performances, the scores, the stats, the highlights, the standings—than on anything else. Rosen felt that media coverage was the key to elevating women’s sports. The NFL, for example, has over 180 million fans. Contributing to this reality is the fact that the NFL is everywhere—on TV, on radio, on podcasts, in print media, on streaming platforms, and so on. In Rosen’s mind, the place to start was getting female athletes and teams in front of people—to build familiarity and viewership. What could get the ball rolling, she concluded, was a well-funded platform that focused exclusively on women’s sports.
Given her interests and the opportunity she identified, Rosen founded Just Women’s Sports in 2020.
The firm is precisely what its name implies—a platform that focuses exclusively on women’s sports. Set this case aside for a minute and look at the company’s website at What you will see is women’s sports depicted in exactly the way Rosen thought it should be—with the focus on the scores, the stats, the thrilling moments, and the on-thefield action. There is lifestyle coverage, but this coverage is proportional to women’s sports-related achievements.
Just Women’s Sports started with a website, a podcast, social media accounts, and live events. Since launching, the firm’s growth is rapid. The firm is now a one-stop shop for coverage of the leagues and sports shown in the first table below. It has also grown from one to four podcasts, as shown in the second table nearby......

Discussion Questions:

1.There are three main ways to identify a business opportunity: observing trends, solving a problem, and/or finding gaps in the marketplace. We know that Just Women’s Sports is trying to solve the problem of a lack of media coverage for women’s sports. To what degree does Just Women’s Sports also take advantage of changing environmental trends and/or fill a gap in the marketplace?
2.Go to Just Women’s Sports’ Instagram account @justwomenssports.
Identify and describe three posts that are consistent with Haley Rosen’s assertion that female athletes are inspirational people and outstanding athletically and that women’s sports are on par with men’s sports in terms of excitement and toughness.
3.Suggest one or two additional business ideas that would help elevate women’s sports—both in the United States and other parts of the world such as Asia, Africa, and Europe.
4.Why do you think sports figures such as Billy Jean King, Kevin Durant, and Allyson Felix are investing in Just Women’s Sports?

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