WNBA and the WNBA Changemakers Collective Team Up with Digital Community Platform VOICEINSPORT to Keep Girls in the Game
February 7, 2024
NEW YORK, February 7, 2024 – On National Girls and Women in Sports Day, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and VOICEINSPORT (VIS) have announced a new community partnership in collaboration with the WNBA Changemaker Collective aimed at keeping girls in sport and developing diverse leaders on the court and beyond the game. VIS, a woman-founded digital platform, and the WNBA Changemakers AT&T, CarMax, Deloitte, Google, Nike and U.S. Bank, are committed to driving change across the industry for girls and women in sports. The WNBA Changemaker Collective mission is to use their collective network to elevate, advance, and economically empower underrepresented groups, girls and women through the power of sport.
“The WNBA Changemaker Collective is a powerful group of purpose-driven organizations with a steadfast mission to empower underrepresented groups, girls and women through the power of sport,” said WNBA Chief Growth Officer, Colie Edison. “In teaming up with VOICEINSPORT, we are excited to extend our impact by engaging even more girls and women in sport and building a supportive environment for the next generation of leaders. We are grateful to our WNBA Changemakers Collective for leading the charge to create a world where girls and women are highly valued in the global sports landscape.”
The WNBA Changemakers will seek to engage and unlock services to over 50,000 girls in sport in 2024 through the VOICEINSPORT platform. To accelerate access to role models, VIS announces 12 WNBA players will be serving as VIS Mentors, including Ariel Atkins (Washington Mystics), Aliyah Boston (Indiana Fever), Alysha Clark (Las Vegas Aces), Natasha Cloud (Phoenix Mercury), Izzy Harrison (Chicago Sky), Lexie Hull (Indiana Fever), Betnijah Laney-Hamilton (New York Liberty), Haley Jones (Atlanta Dream), Nneka Ogwumike (Seattle Storm), Satou Sabally (Dallas Wings), Erica Wheeler (Indiana Fever), and Katie Lou Samuelson (Indiana Fever)
Launching this month, the WNBA partnership with the VOICEINSPORT platform will provide access to services to thousands of girls in sport in the United States through the support of the WNBA Changemakers. Since its launch in 2019, the VIS mission of bringing more visibility to women athletes and elevating their voices has been central to building out the platform’s services and content studio. The WNBA is the first professional league to invest in virtual mentoring and educational content at scale for young girls and women athletes. Throughout the year, the VIS platform and the 12 WNBA player VIS Mentors will conduct over 144 Live VIS Virtual Mentoring Sessions.
“To keep girls in sport, we need to fundamentally rethink the ecosystem and support athletes holistically,” said Founder and CEO of VOICEINSPORT, Stef Strack. “We need more visibility for professional women athletes and experts in sport psychology, nutrition, and sport science. At VOICEINSPORT, we are creating the services and content we all wish we had when we were young athletes. I’m proud that we now have incredible partners through the WNBA and the WNBA Changemakers just as eager to make change happen in this space as we are.”
Together VOICEINSPORT and the WNBA Changemakers alongside the WNBA will unlock the power of accessibility and connection, demonstrating how the longest tenured U.S. professional women’s league, backed by a powerful roster of partners and a transformative women-founded start-up, can innovate and drive change together.
“In order for girls to stay in sports, it’s essential that they have role models to look up to and guide them throughout the way,” said Chicago Sky forward Izzy Harrison. “I’m honored to be that for so many girls through the VOICEINSPORT mentorship platform. Not only am I looking forward to giving advice and relief to the unique challenges that women athletes experience, but I’m equally excited to celebrate their joy and wins with them and be a reminder that they can achieve incredible things in their sport.”
“Sharing a piece of yourself with the world is always a little scary, but it’s so necessary because I can guarantee there is one person in the world who will hear your story and feel inspiration or belief in knowing you’re just like them,” said Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins. “Sports is a way to express yourself and to feed your passions. It’s a way to build long-lasting relationships, and community, and learn how to work with others effectively.”
The WNBA established the WNBA Changemakers partnership platform as a catalyst to drive change for the WNBA and the larger women’s sports ecosystem. Since its inception with AT&T, Deloitte and Nike as founding partners, three additional Changemaker partners have joined (Google, U.S. Bank and CarMax). The Changemakers have increased the number of WNBA games televised and hours watched through initiatives like Google’s Project IX, amplified partnership support of and investment in live events like WNBA Live presented by U.S. Bank at AT&T WNBA All Star, told more stories and expanded upon grassroot opportunities through Nike’s global reach and AT&T’s “She’s Connected” elevation of women and girls in marketing and sports and entertainment, and upgraded digital projects like Deloitte’s transformational work on the new WNBA App alongside CarMax’s Test Drive for fans to get free out-of-market games globally.
In 2023, the WNBA Changemakers identified three strategic areas of impact: mentoring, coaching and playing, all which will build on the Changemakers’ mission of advancing underrepresented groups, girls, and women through sport. In this community partnership with VOICEINSPORT, the Changemakers will hone in on a key part of their collective mission through an easy-to-access digital platform that benefits professional athlete mentors and youth athletes alike.
“As the WNBA Changemaker Collective, we are thrilled to partner with VIS to foster and empower the next generation of diverse leaders,” said the WNBA Changemaker Collective. “VIS’s mission to bring more visibility and opportunities to girls and women aligns with our Collective’s goal of elevating and advancing women through the power of sport.”
VOICEINSPORT, the global sports company, provides a community-based platform for digital services in mental health, nutrition, sport science and mentoring from pro athletes to keep girls and women in sport. The VOICEINSPORT membership comes with free access to original articles written by women athletes, weekly podcasts, advocacy tools to drive change and a community forum. Paid services include a mentoring platform designed to increase the visibility to pro & collegiate athlete role models and access to both clinical & non-clinical sessions with the top 80 experts in sport psychology, sport nutrition and women’s health. Founded in 2019, VOICEINSPORT is based in NYC and is self-funded by sports industry Executive and Advocate Stef Strack. Visit www.voiceinsport.com for the latest company news and follow @voiceinsport on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, X and LinkedIn.
About the WNBA
The WNBA is a bold, progressive basketball league that stands for the power of women. Featuring 12 teams and entering its 28th season in 2024, the W is a unique sports property that combines competition and entertainment with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and social responsibility. Through its world-class athletes, the in-game fan experience, TV and digital broadcasts, digital and social content and community outreach programs, the league celebrates and elevates the game of basketball and the culture around it. In 2020, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) signed a groundbreaking eight-year CBA that charts a new course for women’s basketball – and women’s sports overall – with a focus on increased player compensation, improvements to the player experience, expanded career development opportunities and resources specifically tailored to the female professional athlete. Key elements of the agreement are supported through the league’s partnership platform, WNBA Changemakers Collective, with AT&T, the WNBA’s Marquee Partner and inaugural Changemaker, as well as fellow inaugural Changemakers Deloitte and NIKE, Inc, and subsequent additions Google, U.S. Bank and CarMax. During the 2020 season, the WNBA and WNBPA launched the WNBA Justice Movement forming the Social Justice Council with the mission of being a driving force of necessary change and continuing work regarding women’s and maternal health and voting rights, among other important societal issues.