Every once in a while, we hear about how women’s sports are growing faster than ever. But more important than the increase in the number of women participating in sports, or the number of people watching them on television, is the increase in the number of women with real influence in the sports world. I mean, sure, it’s cool that a niche group of American sports fans get excited about women’s soccer once every four years. But you know what’s cooler? The fact that one of the most powerful people behind the scenes at NASCAR is a woman. This sort of thing, more than anything else, is going to advance the stature of women in sports.
So let’s take a look at the aforementioned NASCAR mover-and-shaker and 14 other influential women from the sports world. Only a couple are actual athletes; the rest are all pulling strings behind the scenes. And we’re not looking solely at how much revenue these women bring in (though that is a factor), but also how much they affect sports culture in general.