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  • Writer's pictureBayLeigh Routt

Smashing Records & Ratings

If you build it, they will come. Seeing the rise in popularity of women’s basketball—and women’s sports in general—is incredible. Iowa’s final eight win over LSU averaged 12.3 million viewers and peaked at 16 million viewers. That shattered the previous all-time record set when the same teams played last year during the championship, which averaged a record 9.9 million viewers and peaked at 12.6 million viewers. Female athletes at all levels are a force of nature, and it's about damn time they get recognized for it.

Take Angel Reese for example. In her four years of college, Reese won LSU Women's Basketball team's first championship, amassed 5 social media million followers, became Rebook's first long-term NIL athlete, and signed deals with Beats by Dre, AirBnb, Mercedes-Benz, and ZOA. Following their popular Final 8 match loss to Iowa, Angel Reese declared for the WNBA Draft; she did it style by announcing with an article written for Vogue magazine. No matter who you root for or what sport you enjoy most it's exciting to see women's sports getting more attention. Don't let anyone fool you: women's sports are entertaining as hell!

A week later that record was broken again during the Iowa-South Carolina national championship game. The Iowa-South Carolina national title game is the most watched basketball game—men’s or women’s, college or professional—in 5 years. To put it into perspective:

  • 2023: 9.9 million viewers

  • 2024: 18.7 million viewers (+89%)

That’s nearly TWICE as many viewers as last year’s women’s basketball championship game! On top of a this historic win in viewership, Head Coach Dawn Staley led the Gamecocks to a perfect 38-0 season—and back to the top of women’s college basketball. She finishes the season with $680,000 in bonuses in addition to her $3.1 million in basic annual compensation from the school; that’s the maximum she could achieve under her contract. Dawn Staley is the first Black college basketball coach to win three national titles because she was also the first Black college basketball coach to win two national titles in 2022. What a MASSIVE month for women’s sports!! 💯


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