Brandi Chastain and the $125 Million Bet on Women’s Soccer | The Deal

Twenty-five years later than expected and following several false starts, women’s professional soccer looks to finally be planting long-term roots. And at the center of it all is one of the icons of a US championship team.

Brandi Chastain, whose electrifying penalty kick in front of more than 90,000 screaming fans at the Rose Bowl sealed the 1999 Women’s World Cup, is a co-owner of Bay FC, the latest franchise to join the fast-growing National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). So what’s the difference with this league, this time, after two earlier failures? Solid investment for the long haul.

The moment seems to have arrived for women’s soccer, as it has for the broader profile of women in American sports. Bay FC was taking the field this spring just as the women’s edition of NCAA March Madness kept breaking its own records, driven by outsized performances and personalities like Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese. This new era of attention and support for women’s sports hasn’t seen its equal since Chastain’s famous, jersey-shedding celebration of her World Cup victory. That team—and its successors—produced stars that broke through into the broader public consciousness: Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe among them.

But all that excitement needed money to sustain it. These days, Chastain is partnering with Sixth Street Partners, a global investment firm that’s developed a business case for women’s sports.
Now, Chastain says, it’s up to her and her fellow owners to leverage not just the money, but the expertise. That means blending her experience as a World Cup winner, Olympic gold medalist and coach with the analytics generated across reams of Sixth Street spreadsheets to produce a winning team.

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Author: admin