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Changing the Game: How One Women’s Soccer Club is Redefining Success

Changing the Game: How One Women’s Soccer Club is Redefining Success

Serial entrepreneur, and president of Angel City Football Club, Julie Uhrman, joined Steph Yang, staff writer for The Atlantic, at INBOUND 2023 to discuss the innovative strategies that have led to the explosive growth of Angel City FC and the unwavering commitment driving the club’s mission for gender equity.

Read on for Uhrman’s takeaways on the impact Angel City FC has had on the world of professional sports and discover how it’s a blueprint for future ventures in women’s soccer and beyond.


Angel City FC’s journey began in the wake of the US Women’s National Team 2019 World Cup victory. A win on the World Cup’s global stage with record viewership coupled with gender and pay equity movements helped push the creation of the club led by Uhrman, actress Natalie Portman, and venture capitalist Kara Nortman. “Angel City was built on the back of the 2019 World Cup,” Uhrman reflected on. “Angel City was really born out of the Me Too movement and the Time's Up movement, fighting for gender equity and pay equity, supporting the U.S. Women's National Team as they embarked on a lawsuit to get equal pay from US soccer.”

Building off of the momentum of the World Cup and the data showing that fans want to watch and support women’s sports, the group formed Angel City FC knowing the value and growth would only increase.

Women's sports has value. And if you are intentional about how you support it, how you invest in it, and who you partner with to grow it, it is only going up.”

The club’s roots in equity is steeped in all parts of its operations and serves as a model for other teams to follow.


Angel City’s approach to the business aspect of sports is nothing short of trailblazing. Through innovative revenue models such as unique sponsorship structures and a commitment to community investment, the club has demonstrated that there is untapped commercial potential in supporting women’s sports. “If we can have a different outcome than the majority of sports teams, which is we are profitable, and do it by leading with purpose, others can follow and you can actually do good while you make money,” Uhrman noted of the club’s sponsorship format where 10% of sponsorship dollars goes back into the community.

We want to set higher expectations, we want to have a positive impact in our community, and we've built Angel City specifically as an organization where mission and capital can coexist, where we lead with passion and purpose to drive to profitability.

Through a new partnership with HubSpot, Angel City will continue to support women and non binary athletes through a fund that invests in education and entrepreneurship endeavors after retirement. With an emphasis on revenue sharing and community reinvestment, Angel City continues to take a groundbreaking approach to foster commercial success while driving its bigger mission.


At the center of Angel City’s ethos is the community the team serves and builds. In the short amount of time that the club has existed, it has successfully fostered a diverse and inclusive fan base leading to unprecedented support and engagement. Angel City’s high season ticket holder retention rates (90% for anyone who was wondering) and strategic, values-aligned sponsorships further testify to the club’s success in community building. “How do we leave the community better than when we started?” Uhrman notes as a question the club seriously considers with each partnership opportunity.

Take Sprouts Farmers Market. Through this partnership, the club focuses on nutrition and education, teaming up with two local schools to build out gardens and free monthly farmers markets for the community to benefit from those gardens. That, coupled with an education program where kids learn more about nutrition and the importance of developing strong bodies helps drive the Sprouts partnership even further.

Building a vibrant, inclusive community is central to Angel City’s mission which in turn drives support and team engagement to new heights.


Angel City is not just making waves stateside — as a global brand Urhman notes that the team sells merchandise in 51 countries and has welcomed fans from 47 different nations. They’ve built the team to be a global brand that represents more than just soccer, and as such, the sky’s the limit when it comes to attracting attention and awareness.

What Angel City wants is equity. We want gender equity. We want pay equity. And we use sports as a way to have those conversations ..."

Angel City is setting a global standard and the club’s success is a greater call to action to invest in women’s soccer, signaling a brighter and more equitable future for the sport.


Angel City FC represents more than just a successful sports team; it embodies a movement toward gender equity, community investment, and commercial success. At the core of it all is the importance of storytelling — lifting the stories of the players, of the teams, and of the community, as a means to invest in partnerships that can make a difference. By doing so, the club is showing that supporting and backing women’s sports is not only a matter of equity but a smart and profitable venture that benefits everyone involved — and setting a blueprint for others to follow.



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