espnW Unveils 2015 IMPACT25 List Highlighting Top Athletes and Influencers for Women in Sports

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espnW Unveils 2015 IMPACT25 List Highlighting Top Athletes and Influencers for Women in Sports

Marvel Illustrates the IMPACT25, Spotlighting their Power and Skills

Today, espnW unveiled its 2015 IMPACT25 list, a who’s who of 25 athletes and influencers who have made the biggest mark on women in sports this year – capped by The espnW Woman of the Year, to be chosen by the honorees themselves and announced at the inaugural IMPACT25 Gala on Thursday, Feb. 25, in New York. In addition, espnW teamed with Marvel Comics to create “super” takes on each of the honorees on the IMPACT25 list. The first of the illustrations – U.S. Women’s National Team and FIFA Women’s World Cup star Carli Lloyd alongside Marvel’s own Captain Marvel – was released last month.

To determine the 25 most impactful figures of 2015, espnW surveyed a panel of sports experts and luminaries, including women’s sports influencers, former players and ESPN’s own editors and executives on the 2015 sports landscape and divided the standout individuals into two categories, Athletes and Influencers.

“In a time when every year seems to be the ‘year of the woman,’ these 25 were remarkable for their influence on and off the field,” said Alison Overholt, editor-in-chief, espnW. “They have individually – and collectively – advanced the dialogue surrounding women in sports, and we’re proud to celebrate their feats.”

Added Sana Amanat, Marvel director of content development: “For decades, Marvel has been able to present our female heroes as the pinnacle of strength and empowerment. Now, working with espnW, we are honored to continue this tradition and translate some of the brightest influencers in sports with this year’s IMPACT25. What these individuals have accomplished is no less than heroic and that is something we are thrilled to pay tribute to.”

In addition to Lloyd, honorees include:

  • Misty Copeland (Influencer), who made history as the first black female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater and starred in a groundbreaking Under Armour ad campaign that redefined the word “athlete.”
  • Jessica Mendoza (Influencer), a former softball Olympic gold medalist and current ESPN baseball analyst who became the first woman to call an ESPN MLB game as an in-booth analyst and the first to work an MLB playoff game when she called the 2015 American League Wild Card Game.
  • U.S. Women’s National Team (Influencers), which captivated the country in its journey to the 2015 Women’s World Cup title, its first in 16 years. The final was watched by more than 20 million people and became the most-watched soccer match ever in the U.S.
  • Ronda Rousey (Athlete), who, despite her recent loss against Holly Holm, dominated the sports conversation this year (and won the ESPY for Best Female Athlete as the then-UFC bantamweight champ) after stunning performances against Cat Zingano and Bethe Correia. The two fights lasted a combined 48 seconds.
  • Serena Williams (Athlete), who had an incredible 2015 run, adding three Grand Slam titles to her remarkable career and nearly completing a calendar Grand Slam before bowing out in the US Open semifinals. Williams was 53-3 in 2015, and is the only player to rank in the WTA top 10 in wins on clay, grass and hard courts.

espnW will offer a comprehensive look at each of the IMPACT25 honorees including key features by Kate Fagan, Allison Glock, Alyssa Roenigk and Ramona Shelburne; bios; video interviews and compilations; a Be Honest with Cari Champion podcast with the Women of Marvel; and more. In addition, on Tuesday, Dec. 8, espnW will release an all-access, behind-the-scenes profile of Rousey by Shelburne appearing in ESPN The Magazine’s Ideas of the Year issue and also featuring Rousey on the cover (on newsstands Friday, Dec. 11).

All IMPACT25 content is available at: espnW.com/IMPACT25, and the Marvel Comics illustrations are available on a dedicated page, sponsored by Walmart at: espnW.com/Marvel.

The 2015 IMPACT25:

Influencers Athletes
Misty Copeland Simone Biles
Lauren Greenfield Tamika Catchings
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill Lauren Chamberlain
Becky Hammon Elena Delle Donne
Loretta E. Lynch Erica Enders
Simone Manuel Chloe Kim
Jessica Mendoza Lydia Ko
Dani Rylan Katie Ledecky
Diana Taurasi Carli Lloyd
Sarah Thomas Olivia Quigley
U.S. Women’s National Team Ronda Rousey
Jen Welter Breanna Stewart
Serena Williams

About espnW

espnW serves women who love sports. espnW.com provides an engaging environment that offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and shares a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women. Founded in July 2010, espnW lives across digital, television, films, events, educational platforms and social media. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information, visit marvel.com. © 2015 MARVEL

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Tara Chozet

I handle PR for ESPN Radio, espnW, technology, remote operations and soccer. I received my undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and my Master’s degree from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.
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