The Sport's Bra
Alexis Ohanian's 776 Foundation is The Sport's Bras first ever investor (Photo: The Sports Bra/ Instagram)

The Sports Bra is gearing up to expand and franchise after Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian was announced as the company's first-ever investor.

The Sports Bra, a pioneering establishment, was the first of its kind to exclusively showcase women's sports when it debuted in Portland in April 2022.

The 776 Foundation, led by Ohanian, is set to significantly bolster the expansion of The Sports Bra. Moreover, any returns on investment will be directed towards the advancement of girls' and women's sports, further amplifying the impact of this investment.

On his decision to invest in the women's sports bar, Ohanian wrote in an Instagram post: "You look at all these sports now; there is undeniable excellence coming from women. I'm just looking for all the ways we can reinforce and build and do it in a way that makes sense with the community."

The Sports Bra, a beacon of change, was founded by Jenny Nguyen two years ago. Frustrated by the lack of women's sports shows in sports bars, she took a stand. A pivotal moment was her experience watching the 2018 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship at a bar in Portland. This inequality fueled her determination to create a space where women's sports could thrive.

The Sports Bra owner requested that the game be switched to the women's basketball game on the main television screen. However, this was refused, so Nguyen and her friends crammed into a small section of the bar and watched the game on a smaller screen with no audio.

Due to the mass coverage of men's sports in the United States, Nguyen's bar only showcases women's sports. If no live event is on, the bar will screen highlights or switch off the television to protest women's sports' lack of coverage.

Nguyen had experience in the food industry, having previously been an executive chef at Reed College in Portland. This, coupled with her being a massive sports fan, made it seem logical for her to start her own sports bar, as that seemed the only way she and her friends could regularly watch women's sports.

Nguyen's journey was not without its hurdles. Despite facing constant loan rejections, she remained undeterred, investing her personal savings and launching a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring her vision to life.

Within a month, the campaign raised an astounding $100,000, a testament to the growing support for women's sports. This success bolstered Nguyen's belief that her vision was not only possible but inevitable. Since opening, fans have flocked to the bar, eager to experience the thrill of women's sports events.

In a press release, Nguyen touched on the second anniversary of the Sports Bra and looked at what is ahead for her business. She said: "When I first opened The Sports Bra two years ago this month, I had no idea the impact it would have on so many so quickly. With the support of Alexis and 776, we plan to bring The Bra to cities across the country and beyond and continue to invest in our mission."

The Sports Bra has attracted guests such as the Women's National Basketball Association Commissioner, Cathy Engelbert, and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden. Last year, the pair met at the bar alongside numerous sports leaders from the area to discuss the possibility of a WNBA franchise coming to Portland.

The news of Ohanian and his foundation's investment in The Sports Bra coincides with a momentous time for women's sports in the U.S. The rise of stars like WNBA-bound Caitlin Clark has captivated larger audiences, with 18.7 million people tuning in to watch the recent NCAA women's basketball championship game between her Iowa Hawkeyes and South Carolina Gamecocks. This viewership was a staggering four million higher than the men's basketball championship contest, a clear sign of the growing popularity and recognition of women's sports.

This viewership was four million higher than the men's basketball championship contest.

Clark was recently selected at number one in the 2024 WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever, and many fans expect to follow her journey into the world of professional women's basketball.