Parity CEO Leela Srinivasan Champions Research on Women’s Sports to Find that Brands Have a Massive Opportunity… 
8 mins read

Parity CEO Leela Srinivasan Champions Research on Women’s Sports to Find that Brands Have a Massive Opportunity… 

Parity was created in 2020 to close the gender income and opportunity gap in professional sports, and CEO Leela Srinivasan has been in her role for a year. To help revolutionize the financial model for women athletes and create meaningful opportunities for brands, she has championed what may be the most extensive study of women’s sports fandom to date. In partnership with SurveyMonkey, Parity surveyed 14,000+ consumers in 7 countries to find out who’s watching women’s sports, why, and what they think of women athletes.

The results led Leela Srinivasan to declare that women’s sports have moved from “having a moment” to being mainstream. She emphasizes, “Brands that don’t forge partnerships with women athletes are missing a massive opportunity.”

To learn more from Leela Srinivasan about this groundbreaking research on Women’s Sports, watch the video interview on Internationalist Marketing TV (IMTV) on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.

“Women’s sports are experiencing a surge of attention right now, but there’s still an abundance of pressing questions about the pervasiveness of women’s sports fandom in 2024,” says Leela Srinivasan.

She adds, “The fandom gap is narrowing, signaling a seismic change in attitudes towards women’s sports. While there is much to celebrate, our findings also shed light on the enduring challenges women athletes face on the path to true parity.”



Most adults in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, and France attest:

  • It’s essential for girls to play sports growing up
  • Think that women athletes are valuable role models
  • Agree that men have more opportunities than women in professional sports
  • Say that women’s professional sports are not given enough coverage in the media

While most will watch this summer’s Olympic games, few are aware that Paris 2024 will be the first to feature an equal number of male and female athletes.

More people are watching more women’s sports this year compared with last year.

  • While men’s sports have nearly twice the viewership of women’s sports in each country, this is only among those who watch sports with high frequency (daily or weekly).
  • However, there is just an 8% gap among viewers who watch sports a few times a year– 73% of those respondents admit to watching women’s sports and 81% men’s sports.

Given that women’s sports, in general, receive only about 15% of media coverage, finding how and where to view games or competitions is half the battle. 

Half of adults or more in each country believe that brands are not investing enough in women’s sports compared with men’s sports.


Interest in women’s sports is growing at a healthy rate, with the UK, Australia, and Spain leading the charge.

A quarter to a third of women’s sports fans are watching more women’s sports this year than last year. In the UK (36%), Australia (34%), and Spain (32%), one in three women’s sports fans are watching more women’s sports this year, higher than in the US (27%), Canada (29%), Germany (23%), and France (24%).

Twenty-three percent of men watch women’s sports daily or weekly, compared to 15% of women, silencing assumptions that women’s sports fans are primarily women. Additionally, 30% of men worldwide are watching more women’s sports in 2024 compared to 2023.


The vast majority of respondents (88%) agree that professional women athletes are “somewhat” or “highly” impactful role models for young women.

Women athletes are trusted more as influencers than male athletes and other influencers.

Respondents who watch women’s sports daily or weekly are 3.5 more likely to buy a product promoted by a female athlete than another type of influencer. Respondents overall are more than twice as likely to buy a product promoted by a woman athlete over another influencer.

Listen to Leela Srinivasan discuss how brands have a tremendous opportunity to forge partnerships with women athletes and to The Internationalist’s entire Trendsetters podcast series here on iHeartRadio’s Spreaker or wherever you download your podcasts.

In our conversation, we discuss the following:

  • It’s been quite a year for women’s sports. Before discussing your extraordinary new research, would you highlight some of the top moments in women’s sports?
  • I know you have these statistics at your fingertips, so would you remind us of the disparity in women’s sports regarding pay and sponsorship investment?
  • Traditionally, men’s sports have had higher viewership numbers, which often accounts for higher sponsorship support. However, your research shows that women’s sports worldwide are moving into the mainstream. Start by telling us who you surveyed.
  • I realize that the survey is rich with information. Would you start with what you consider to be the most important insights?
  •  Given that we’re The Internationalist, I’m curious to know how various countries rank or perhaps some surprising insights into different parts of the world.
  • Let’s turn to sponsorship. We’ve seen several major strides here. For example, Ally Financial’s commitment to invest equally in men’s and women’s sports and news this week that Barbie is partnering with women’s pro hockey. However, Deloitte projects a 300% revenue increase in women’s sports by 2024, yet it still makes up less than 1% of the global sports market. What is your take on this?
  • It sounds like women’s soccer, tennis, and basketball receive most of the current sponsorship monies. What happens to other sports?
  • How would you describe the value of elite women athletes to a brand?
  • You often talk about women athletes as influencers. Tell us more about their significance.
  • I recently learned that many female CEOs—from Indra Nooyi to Meg Whitman– were actively involved in sports in school and often beyond. Are young girls today seeing today’s women athletes as role models?
  • The Paris Olympics will likely be a watershed moment for women’s sports. What are your thoughts on the upcoming games and what they mean to the business of sports?
  • Finally, what’s next for you and Parity?

The Parity/SurveyMonkey poll was conducted March 28 – April 10, 2024, among a national sample of 5,408 U.S., 1,972 UK, 1,251 Australian, 1,743 Canadian, 1,290 German, 1,193 Spanish, and 1,517 French adults 18+. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform daily. 

About Parity

Minority-founded in 2020, Parity is a sports marketing and sponsorship platform dedicated to closing the gender income and opportunity gap in professional sports. By developing high-impact collaborations between brands, professional women athletes and their fans, Parity has proudly put millions of dollars in the pockets of women athletes, attracting dozens of brands to the movement in the process. The platform connects brands like Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, AdventHealth and Superfeet to more than 1,000 women athletes from 75+ sports, including well over 250 Olympians and Paralympians. For more information on how to tap into the rapidly rising influence and popularity of women athletes, visit

Prior to joining Parity, Leela Srinivasan served as chief marketing officer at three high-growth companies:, a global digital payments platform; Momentive, the parent company of SurveyMonkey; and recruiting software company Lever. She also held marketing leadership roles at LinkedIn and OpenTable and worked for management consulting firm Bain and Company in London and San Francisco, following a successful career in sales leadership at Business Wire.

Leela is also a current board member at Upwork, a limited partner at Stage 2 Capital and the Neythri Futures Fund and has advised multiple startups. She holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where she serves on the board of advisors. She and her husband have three daughters.