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Athletes Unlimited Expands Advisory Board with Leading Women in Media, Advocacy, and Business

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023
Alexandra Licata
Jan 22, 2024

Athletes Unlimited has expanded its Advisory Board with a diverse group of women leaders within media, advocacy, and business.

Additions to the Board include Deena Bahri (Chief Marketing Officer, StockX), Molly Levinson (Chief Executive Officer, The Levinson Group), Beth Brooke (former Global Vice-Chair, EY), Reshma Saujani (Founder, Girls Who Code and Moms First), Danielle Weisberg & Carly Zakin (Co-Founders, theSkimm), and Pam Wasserstein (President, Vox Media).

They join a prestigious group of high-profile contributors from the worlds of sports, business and entertainment on the Athletes Unlimited Advisory Board, including U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team icon Abby Wambach; two-time NBA champion and entrepreneur Kevin Durant; Thirty Five Ventures co-founder Rich Kleiman; Grand Slam champion and former world number one tennis star Caroline Wozniacki; ESPN broadcaster and four-time first-team All-American softball standout Jessica Mendoza; USA Volleyball Women’s National Team head coach Karch Kiraly; International Olympic Committee member and four-time Olympian Angela Ruggiero; Turner Sports journalist Taylor Rooks; former player and past President of the United States Tennis Association Katrina Adams; 2020 Athletes Unlimited Softball Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Cat Osterman; and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, four-time WNBA Champion, and Athletes Unlimited color commentator Sheryl Swoopes.

Bahri was StockX’s first-ever chief marketing officer and has held marketing leadership roles at companies such as Helix, Birchbox, Gilt Groupe, and Reebok. She was a 2023 Forbes Entrepreneurial CMO 50 honoree and was named to the Forbes CMO Next List in 2021, recognizing 50 innovative marketers who transformed business amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“We know that fandom, or the way that fans consume sports and align with brands and athletes, is shifting,” Bahri said. “Women’s sports fans in particular want to engage with brands that not only provide a great sports product but also align with their values and Athletes Unlimited exemplifies that.”

Levinson is the founder and CEO of strategic communications firm The Levinson Group, recognized as “Small Agency of the Year” by PR News in 2022. An Emmy-award winning television news producer who served as Political Director at both CNN and CBS News, Levinson is also one of the strategic architects of the historic U.S Women’s National Team players’ equal pay effort.

“In order to win the historic Equal Pay effort, we had to upend a culture and business model that had undervalued women athletes for decades,” Levinson said. “What we learned is that investing in women’s sports is not just about doing the right thing, it is also about doing the smart thing. The potential for growth is endless. It is so exciting to watch fans flock to Athletes Unlimited, a league that is redefining what it means to partner with athletes.”

Brooke, who was a member of EY’s Global Board, oversaw public policy for EY’s operations in more than 150 countries and was the global sponsor for EY’s Diversity and Inclusiveness efforts. She has been named eleven times to Forbes “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” (MPW) list, and is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

“The data clearly shows that involvement in sport helps women develop into future leaders in business and society,” Brooke said. “As a former athlete myself, I’m happy to see the ongoing increase in the opportunities, investment and attention paid to women’s sport. I think Athletes Unlimited is taking a really innovative and impactful approach and adding another dimension to this industry.”

In Saujani’s nine-year tenure as the CEO of Girls Who Code, the non-profit has taught 300,000 girls through direct in-person computer science education programming, and reached 500 million people worldwide through its New York Times-bestselling book series. Girls Who Code was awarded Most Innovative Non-Profit by Fast Company in 2019. She launched Marshall Plan for Moms, now Moms First, to advocate for policies that value women’s labor in and out of the home in response to the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on America’s moms.

“As a champion for the economic empowerment of women, I’ve dedicated my life to fighting for the structural supports women and moms need to thrive,” Saujani said. “Athletes Unlimited is a pioneer in this in the women’s sports space and I’m thrilled to be joining the Advisory Board to lift up women athletes and support this work.”

Zakin and Weisberg teamed up in 2012 to create theSkimm, a daily newsletter aimed at sparking the interest of millennials who often avoid traditional news sources. Since launching,  theSkimm has grown to 250 staffers and 7 million subscribers. They have been featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media, Vanity Fair’s The Next Establishment, Fortune’s 40 Under 40, Variety’s Power of Women, and Adweek’s Young Influential. They were both recognized by Goldman Sachs Builders and Innovator Summit as one of the most 100 Intriguing Entrepreneurs.

 “We have long known that women are too often excluded from the conversation, boardroom and on the playing field,” Zakin and Weisberg said. “We are only now seeing the cultural impact of women’s sports and the shift it’s making for both athletes and fans. We’re excited to see Athletes Unlimited bring new innovations to the space, from telling more stories about women in sports to changing business models to progressive workplace policies.”

Wasserstein is the president of Vox Media, where she oversees all editorial brands and content creation. She received a 2018 Spirit of ABNY Award recognizing distinguished service to New York City, and was named to Crain’s New York’s 40 Under 40 class of 2017. 

“The audience for women’s sports is growing and so deeply engaged,” Wasserstein said. “What Athletes Unlimited is doing to reimagine what professional sports can look like, including through its business model, is exciting as both a fan and an advisory board member. This year is shaping up to be the biggest in women’s sports yet.”

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