Athletes Unlimited: First women’s sports league to be named among ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’ by Fast Company. Fast Company, a business and technology publication, is known for its annual ranking of the world’s 50 most innovative companies.
Athletes Unlimited, a professional sports league focusing on elite women athletes is on the Fast Company list of 10 most innovative companies in sports in 2023. Athletes Unlimited is the first women’s sports league to earn this honor. In addition, Athletes Unlimited is also the first professional sports league to be organized as a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). A public benefit corporation is a corporation created specifically to benefit the public in some way. The focus is on both profit and mission alignment. Public benefit corporations define the particular benefit purpose aside from shareholder interest.
As noted, in part, in the most recent Public Benefit Corporation Report:
“We started Athletes Unlimited because investing in female athletes is good business. And we formed Athletes Unlimited as a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) because sports have a unique ability to inspire, and professional sports must aspire to more than just profits for owners and athletes.”
The league was founded by Jon Patricof and Jonathan Soros on March 3, 2020. It has several women’s professional sports under its umbrella: softball, volleyball, basketball and lacrosse. The power is in the hands of the players and there are no owners for the teams. Players make decisions both on and off their field of play, which gives the entire league a player-centric focus. Each league has a player executive committee that meets weekly with Athletes Unlimited staff to work on all aspects of the league, from adding players to the roster to establishing the rules and scoring system.
Players in all sports, including basketball, compete under a point system where players and teams are rewarded for individual and team performance. Each week the four highest-ranked players are appointed as captains and redraft teams for the following week’s competition. This not only allows fans to see different matchups each week, but it also allows the players to get a feel for different schemes and teammates. The league has big-name sponsors including Nike, Gatorade, Topps, Caesars, Sportradar and GEICO.
Prominent international and WNBA players play in the league, which does not conflict with their seasons. The WNBA only has 144 roster spots, so leagues such as Athletes Unlimited allow athletes to play domestically and not have to pursue opportunities overseas. The games are fan and athlete-focused, including free autograph signings at the end of each game along with free swag and custom posters for each week.
Learn more about this innovative sports league:
Logo-no copyright infringement intended.