Women entrepreneurs who will shake up the sports business

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You found. You lead. They think innovatively. And they stand up for other women. They are role models and an incentive: women in leadership positions in the sports business world. Their path, their challenges and their ideas show: We need them, the female entrepreneurs who assert themselves in this industry, contribute their thoughts and change the sports business world sustainably. introduces you to 25 women who are successfully changing the world of sports.


Sally Bergesen, Founder and CEO, Oiselle

Sally Bergesen also filled a gap in the market after, as a passionate runner, she was often unable to find her needs reflected in brands. She has been conquering the market since 2007 with running clothing specially designed for women. During the coronavirus pandemic, she was able to build on her success and grow the company - thanks to the running boom. Today, Sally Bergesen is considered one of the most exciting founders in the industry!


Donna Carpenter, Co-Owner and Co-CEO, Burton

Donna Carpenter is not only behind the world's leading snowboard brand Burton. She also stands for equality and has always been a good role model. Even before quotas came up, she made sure that female managers were present, since 1982 all athletes have received the same bonus at the Burton US Open and she even restructured the company so that women don't have to choose between a career and children.


Anne-Laure Descours, Chief Sourcing Officer, Puma

Anne-Laure Descours is a prime example of how to balance career and motherhood. That's why she chose Hong Kong as her adopted home over 20 years ago and has since enjoyed the freedom to develop as a woman on the executive floor at Puma. In her opinion, there is one crucial parameter missing in order to advance women in business in Germany: an environment that is designed for working mothers. Thanks to women like Anne-Laure Descours, these issues are being made visible and discussed. Chapeau!


Ellie Evans, founder and CEO, Elle Evans Swimwear.

Founded in 2013, swimwear label Elle Evans combines a sustainable vision with modern, fashionable designs and is aimed at people who are passionate about the future and fashion. And the face behind the brand? That's Ellie Evans. A talented, forward-thinking and humble founder.


Ty Haney, Founder, OutDoor Voices

Ty Haney founded the Outdoor Voices brand in 2014 and made sportswear the hottest trend among non-athletes. She stepped down as CEO of the company in 2020, with Gabrielle Conforti following in her footsteps. Today, Haney works in companies such as Get Joggy, which focuses on performance supplements with CBD and THCV, and Try your Best, a platform that allows brands to collect contributions from customers and receive rewards in return. Which company is next on Haney's agenda? We'll stay tuned!


Franziska Hannig, Founder, Inaska

For the nutrition and consumer economics graduate, it was clear early on what she wanted to achieve at some point in her career: to leave a positive impact. Preferably in the area of sustainability. Today she lives this with her brand Inaska. Sportswear and swimwear that is sustainable and looks good. This is particularly evident in the Leftover Collection. This is where "good mood color blocking" meets leftover fabrics from Ortovox. Franziska Hannig knows how future fashion works!


Tamara Hill-Norton, Founder and Creative Director, Sweaty Betty

After opening the first Sweaty Betty store in Notting Hill in 1998, the British company grew rapidly and was named "Sports Retailer of the Year" by the Sports Industries Federation in 2001. The business idea was born out of the lack of sportswear stores for women who led an active lifestyle. Sweaty Betty's goal is clear: to make women feel strong and beautiful through fitness. Tamara Hill-Norton embraced this philosophy and created one of today's biggest international sportswear brands. Tamara Hill-Norton is a luminary in the industry - and perhaps the first female entrepreneur to leave her mark on the sports business world to this day.


Kristen Holmes, Vice President of Performance Science, WHOOP

Kristen Holmes played and coached field field hockey at the highest level for more than two decades and knows from her own experience that the topic of the menstrual cycle still receives too little attention in connection with training. She recognizes that specific insight into female physiology can provide new insights that will help women train, sleep and recover smarter. As Vice President at WHOOP, she brings her values to bear in the best possible way. Because the company offers digital fitness and health coaching. In addition to the stylishminimalist and comfortable wearable a new menstrual cycle coaching app for female athletes! We like!


Melanie Hood, Marketing & Communications Director, SCARPA North America

Melanie Hood launched the SCARPA Athlete Mentorship Initiative. She has had a vision of diversity ever since she started at SCARPA, bringing athletes such as Nikki Smith, Mo Beck and Sam Elias onto the ambassador team. For Hood, it was clear that more inclusion was needed in the sports and outdoor industry and that more athletes from historically marginalized communities needed to reach a high level of athleticism. With the help of the Scarpa community, she has already brought 30 athletes together with aspiring athletes


Katie Warner Johnson, Founder and CEO, Carbon38

From ballerina to fitness trainer for VIPs to founder of Carbon38, where fashion and activity are successfully combined. But women are even more important to Carbon38 founder Katie Warner than fashion. As such, she is committed to supporting women in her industry and in her company. She was named a member of the New Guard by Marie Claire, honored as one of the Builders and Innovators by Goldman Sachs and recognized as one of the Entrepreneurial Winning Women by Ernst and Young. And by us as a true role model entrepreneur.


Evgenia Koroleva, Co-Founder, The Female Curve

Evgenia Koroleva knows how modern women can best achieve their goals. She has launched an app for female health and fitness on the market. It helps women to live more intuitively with their bodies and use their hormones to their advantage. An important aspect that is still often forgotten in the sports industry today. This makes women like Evgenia Koroleva all the more important.


Denise Lee, Founder and CEO, Alala

Alala not only has an entire team full of women, but was also founded by a woman in 2014. For founder Denise Lee, the focus is on versatile clothing that is both comfortable and functional and makes it easy to switch between an intense workout and a chic night out in New York City. Alala combines both, creating an upscale activewear line. And Denise Lee? She shows how sports-loving women will dress in the urban jungle of the future.


Lindsay Malone, Senior Marketing Manager, Gregory Packs

Lindsay Malone has recognized something important: Outdoor knows no norm. "It was time to stop putting Band-Aids on the problem and launch a whole collection". And she does: From oversized backpacks to shoes for people who have suffered an amputation, Maline is creating an inclusive line for all outdoor fans with Gregory. And we love it!


Rose Marcario, former CEO, Patagonia

Until 2020, Rose Marcario served as President and CEO of the US outdoor manufacturer Patagonia for twelve years. She left her mark on one area in particular: on-site childcare, which the company introduced in 1983. Rosa Marcario saw childcare facilities as the solution to seeing more women in management positions. With success! During her career, 100 percent of all mothers returned to the company after giving birth. Congratulations!

Rose Marcario, long-time Patagonia boss, resigns
Rose Marcario, long-time Patagonia boss, is stepping down
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Tommaso Mei

Sally McCoy, Executive Chair, Sea to summit

Sally McCoy can look back on many leadership positions in sports companies. For example, Sally was Chair of the Outdoor Industry Association and co-founder of the Outdoor Industry Women's Councli. A true expert, she is now the founder and CEO of an investment firm focused on the sports market. Her experience and expertise has shaped the industry and shows: Women can also achieve a lot as entrepreneurs in the sports industry.


Maria Luisa Mendiola, Founder and CEO, MIGA Swimwear

Due to her brachymetatarsia, Maria Luisa Mendiola had to learn from her own experience how important it is for those affected to feel comfortable in the pool or on the beach. She therefore founded an inclusive swimwear brand that does a lot of good with special designs for people with disfigurements or other chronic health problems. For the first collection, MIGA Swimwear worked with burn survivors to design swimsuits that meet their mental and physical needs. More women like Maria Luisa Mendiola are needed in the sports business world!


Amy Montagne, Vice President and General Manager Women's Nike

Amy Montagne has headed the Women's Business at Nike since 2023 and has played a key role in expanding the product range for women. for women. In the process, Amy, who has worked at the company for almost two decades, has completely transformed her leadership style: "There was a time in my career when I believed I was paid to get results and get teams to act. I didn't show the personal side of me - being a mother, wife, daughter," she says in an interview with "Hybrid working has shown me that everyone has their own story that goes beyond work. For me, it's about letting teammates know that I see that. It's about telling my story and being more vulnerable."


Carla Murphy, General Manager Outdoor, Adidas

First Vice President Brand & Product at Icebreaker, then General Manager for the outdoor sector at Adidas. She is also an ultra-runner and mother of two. Carla Murphy manages all of this because she wakes up every morning with her dreams before her eyes and makes them come true. Carla Murphy is certainly one of the most impressive game changers in the outdoor industry.


Ruth Oberrauch, Founder and Brand Manager, LaMunt

By women for women: With LaMunt , outdoor brand expert Ruth Oberrauch has created a brand that is specifically aimed at women. Ruth brings her own perspective on mountain sports to the new brand from the Oberalp Group, skillfully combining function with aesthetics and thus helping women to "Mountain Me-Time". Daring and business acumen: Ruht Oberrauch is an entrepreneur who sets an example!


Stefanie Rieder-Haas, Chief Supply Chain Officer, ORTOVOX

Stefanie Rieder-Haas can look back on a long and continuous career at mountain sports specialist Ortovox spanning more than twelve years. In 2022, she joined the extended management team and is responsible for the newly created Sustainability & Quality division. A woman who tackles the important issues of the future!

Stefanie Rieder-Haas has been CSR Manager at Ortovox for one and a half years: "We are the networkers in the company".
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Kim Scholze, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Sympatex

Kim Scholze lives and breathes sport and the outdoors - not only in her private life, but also professionally. She has been working in the industry for over 25 years, including as Community Manager Outdoor ISPO and OutDoor by ISPO at Messe München until 2021, before moving to Sympatex. She has been part of the management team there since February 2023 and makes it clear what is important to her: "It's not about making the biggest possible profit. It's about attitude, cooperation and the industry's common pursuit of sustainability." By the way: If you're as passionate about the industry as Kim, it's worth listening to her podcast Spuzziness.


Melissa Snover, Founder and CEO, Nourish3d

Registered dietitian, self-confessed health fanatic, and award-winning entrepreneur. With her plant-based diet and her passion for sustainability, Melissa Snover brings two fundamental principles to the company, which produces 100% vegan and eco-friendly supplements for customized nutrition. The special thing about the wonder gummies is that they are all 3D printed.


Kari Traa, Founder, Kari Traa

As a four-time world champion and Olympic champion, Kari Traa is one of Norway's most successful freestylers. Her desire for functional and above all aesthetic ski underwear led to the founding of her own women's sportswear brand. She later developed her own girls' ski team, which produced well-known freeriders such as Hedvig Wessel. Women supporting women - that's the spirit the industry needs.

Kari Traa was world-class as an athlete and remains so in the world of sports business. The Norwegian was a four-time world champion on the moguls and Olympic champion in 2002. In the same year, she founded her company, named after herself, and specialized in winter sports articles, especially baselayers, for women. The Kari Traa brand has since advanced to become Europe's fastest growing sporting goods manufacturer exclusively for women.
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Kari Traa

Bonnie Tu, Founder, Liv Cycling

What does a passionate cyclist do when she can't find a bike that fits her size and needs? She founds her own all-female bike brand. At least that's what Bonnie Tu did. Together with her all-female team, she runs the only cycling brand that specializes specifically in women's bikes, cycling equipment and clothing. Just do it: that's Bonnie Tu's motto!


Antje von Dewitz, CEO, Vaude

Antje von Dewitz took over the management of mountain sports expert Vaude from her father Albrecht von Dewitz back in 2009. She is a pioneer of the sustainability megatrend and transformed her company into a thoroughly green brand years ago.

Antje von Dewitz
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