Portland/ Retail & Industry
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Published on April 22, 2024
Portland's The Sports Bra to Expand Nationwide with Backing from Reddit Co-founder Alexis OhanianSource: Google Street View

The Sports Bra, a Portland hotspot dedicated to showcasing women's sports, is branching out to multiple cities with backing from high-profile tech entrepreneur and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, as per announcements on the bar's Instagram page. Known for being the first bar of its kind, The Sports Bra has become a beacon for female sports enthusiasts since opening its doors in 2022, and now with Ohanian's investment through his 776 Foundation, it is set to amplify its impact on a national scale.

Ohanian, a notable investor and husband to tennis superstar Serena Williams, has eyed the expansion of The Sports Bra as an opportunity to further champion women's sports, while simultaneously pledging that all financial returns will funnel back into girls' and women's sports initiatives through his foundation, according to an Instagram post by the Sports Bra. It's a move that's celebrated by the bar's founder Jenny Nguyen who, told KOIN 6, views even a single inspired girl as monumental success.

The Sports Bra's expansion details remain under wraps, with no specific cities yet announced, though the bar has asked patrons to follow their social media channels for upcoming updates. Ohanian's contribution to this new business venture is also undisclosed, but his commitment to the cause is clear, having said in a statement obtained by the Portland Business Journal, "100% of the returns from this investment will be donated to advance future generations of women athletes."

Recent milestones in women's sports viewership underscore the relevance of such an expansion, with The Sports Bra reporting a surge in interest: the 2024 NCAA women’s tournament's viewership outpaced the men's at 18.7 million, and growth in National Women’s Soccer League viewership by 41% year-over-year as highlighted by Nguyen in an announcement that indeed demonstrates an exhilarating inflection point for women’s sports and The Sports Bra. Nguyen's venture, a labor of love, began with her personal savings and a crowdfunding effort, resulting in $1 million in sales in the first year, she detailed.

The Sports Bra is charting a course that could reshape the landscape of sports bars nationwide, all while fostering the growth and visibility of women's sports.