New Data From The Fan Project Shows Women’s Sports Have Most Innovative, Committed Fans

August 26, 2021

Hockey Hall of Famer Anglea Ruggerio and her company partnered with the top women’s pro leagues and their consumers to study how fans were engaging with the game.

The NWSL and WNBA were the only professional sports leagues in North America to experience increased TV ratings during 2020 amid the pandemic. Star athletes like Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, celebrities and even NFL owners are investing in women’s sports teams. The Tokyo Olympics featured a record number of women participating, while consumers across the United States and Canada tuned in to watch women compete in prime time at higher rates than ever before.

Anglea Ruggerio is a Hockey Hall of Famer, Olympic gold medalist, and co-founder/CEO of Sports Innovation Lab, which does market research with clients like the NFL, NHL and FIFA, and focuses on how technology influences fan behavior. As a former athlete, Ruggerio knew there was a large investment gap between men’s and women’s professional sports, but there was little research devoted to the women’s sports industry that actually provided a reason why.

Her company’s latest initiative, The Fan Project, teamed up with 27 partners, including the WNBA, NWSL, LPGA and Women’s Sports Foundation, and asked for consumers’ social media archives to analyze social and viewership data. SI