“When I think about next year, we’re going to have to address how we scale and continue to grow and I’m certainly looking at all different ways we would develop our creative,” she said. “But what was really important to me was we got a diverse group of people that really were passionate about the game and knew the sport and wanted to develop this with us.”
Haddon likened NWSL to a culture and lifestyle brand, reflecting young players and a young fan base for whom fashion, fitness and gaming are important. The 11-year-old league represents an intersection of a startup and a traditional sport, which Haddon said should be attractive to brands. Attendance at league games is up by 48% this year, according to the leaguer, and TV viewership is up by 21%, according to Nielsen. NWSL was also recently ranked as having the highest momentum among sports brands in the National Research Group’s Fandex study.
“When you want to reach younger demos, you want to reach modern emergent lifestyle, this is a sponsorship brand … we would love to have like-minded partners,” Haddon said.