Marie Donoghue, VP of U.S. Sports Content and Partnerships at Amazon, believes in the importance of having women on both sides of a content deal when drafting partnerships with female athletes.
Speaking as part of the 2023 Power Women Summit’s panel, “Game On: Empowering Women in Sports,” presented by Amazon and moderated by Rachel Nichols, Donoghue emphasized how her intention to bring women behind the scenes of big content deals with female athletes has shaped her work and why “having more women in the room is helpful.”
“I’m in a position now where I own making sure we have women, making sure we have diversity. I’ve thrown my body in front of hirings to make sure we’re being intentional in front of the camera, behind the camera, in the offices where decisions are made,” Donoghue said at the Tuesday event held at The Maybourne Beverly Hills. “We have to be really intentional about it.”
“Obviously, I’ve appreciated and known the value in sports forever,” she continued. “I honestly think what’s helping now is there are women in buying positions. You see that sponsorship for the NWSL we just did a few weeks ago? There are women in those buying positions, and they’re owning it. They want the association with female athletes and women’s sports. It will always be a little harder, at least for the foreseeable future, but let’s just own it and support each other.”
Joining Donoghue on the panel were Allyson Felix, the seven-time Olympic Gold medalist and cofounder and president of Saysh, and Candace Parker, the three-time WNBA champion-turned-businesswoman and broadcaster. Rachel Nichols moderated.
Parker noted during the conversation that “the last three, four years” have seen an uptick in appreciation for women’s sports.
“Everybody’s like, ‘Women’s sports!’ It’s like, ‘We’ve been telling you. This is nothing new,’” Parker said, humorously.
And with that uptick in appreciation from audiences, Donoghue said, comes the added responsibility of sports world professionals and decision-makers to “make sure we reflect the population in our audience” on the court and behind the scenes across gender, race, age and more.
“A diverse team leads to better decisions … If you want the best content in the world, the best chemistry, I pick the best teammates and people who want to make great teams,” she said.
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