Adweek Celebrates “The Most Powerful Women in Sports”

U.S. Women’s Soccer superstar Alex Morgan 2019 kicks off the annual list


NEW YORK — On July 8, 2019, Adweek releases its fourth annual “Most Powerful Women in Sports” issue, featuring indomitable soccer star Alex Morgan on the cover and 29 other game changers on and off the field—from Alexys Feaster (NBA), Barbara McHugh (MLB), Charlotte Jones Anderson (Dallas Cowboys) and Jill Gregory (Nascar) to Celeste Burgoyne (Lululemon), Katie Myers (CAA Brand Consulting) and Kelly Dunne (CBS Sports Marketing).

“We’re excited to celebrate these amazing women,” says Lisa Granatstein, Adweek’s editor and SVP of programming. “When you read about their accomplishments and how hard they work to elevate others, it’s easy to see why every single one of them is an MVP.”

In addition to sharing turning points in their career, the best advice they ever received and the rules they think deserve to be broken (“They all do,” quips Laura Miele, chief studios officer of Electronic Arts), our honorees reveal the female sports figures and breathtaking moments that inspired and helped shape who they are today.

The NHL’s Kimberly Davis rhapsodizes about Althea Gibson, the first great African-American player in women’s tennis. Janet Marie Smith of the LA Dodgers cites umpire Perry Barber. For Val Ackerman of the Big East Conference, Nadia Comenci’s perfect-10 performance in the uneven bars competition at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games was a high-water mark. And Brand Chastain’s unforgettable goal at the Women’s World Cup in 1999—after which she tore off her shirt—“was everything,” says Johanna Faries of Activision Blizzard Esports.

Extended versions of all 30 profiles and highlights will be published online also on July 8.

The complete list of “The Most Powerful Women in Sports”:

Alex Morgan, co-captain, USWNT
Alexys Feaster, senior director, Player Development, NBA

Alisha Valavanis, CEO and general manager, Seattle Storm & Force 10 Sports Management
Barbara McHugh, SVP, marketing, MLB
Celeste Burgoyne, EVP, Americas and Guest Innovation, Lululemon
Charlotte Jones Anderson, EVP, chief brand officer, Dallas Cowboys
Christy Hedgpeth, COO, WNBA
Cynt Marshall, CEO, Dallas Mavericks
Janet Marie Smith, SVP, planning and development, Los Angeles Dodgers
Jennifer Storms, CMO and EVP, content strategy, NBC Sports Group
Jill Gregory, EVP, CMO, Nascar
JoAnn Neale, president and chief administrative officer, MLS
Johanna Faries, commissioner, Call of Duty League, Activision Blizzard Esports
Katie Myers, executive, CAA Brand Consulting
Kelly Dunne, EVP, CBS Sports Marketing
Kimberly Davis, EVP, Social Impact, Growth & Legislative Affairs, NHL
Laura Miele, chief studios officer, Electronic Arts
Lindsay Kagawa Colas, SVP, Women and Olympics, Wasserman
Lynne Biggar, chief marketing and communications officer, Visa
Michelle Peluso, SVP, digital sales, CMO, IBM
Renie Anderson, EVP and chief revenue officer, NFL
Ronalee Zarate-Bayani, CMO, LA Rams
Stephanie McMahon, chief brand officer, WWE
Val Ackerman, commissioner, Big East Conference
Deborah Wahl, global chief marketing officer, Cadillac
Monica Rustgi, vp, marketing, Budweiser
Diana O’Brien, global CMO, Deloitte
Laura Gentile, SVP, marketing, ESPN
Lou Taylor, founder and CEO, Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group
Claudia Teran, EVP of business and legal affairs, Fox Sports