Female college athletes are underfunded, but one company is taking a stand

Brandpoint (BPT)

(BPT) – Women continue to be trailblazers in sports, demonstrating their skills, perseverance and leadership. However, despite their athletic talent, female athletes face a glass ceiling that impacts them in numerous ways, including financially.

Female athletes receive fewer sponsorship opportunities and lower compensation than their male peers. This fact is receiving more attention now that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) made a massive rule change that allows college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness (NIL).

To inspire change and help deserving female athletes, H&R Block plans to provide $1 million in sponsorships and support for women who are masters of their sports. In addition to its $1 million commitment, the company will amplify the voices of female student athletes as they speak out about the need for equity in college sports.

As part of its “A Fair Shot” program, which seeks to level the playing field for male and female college athletes, H&R Block’s college athlete partners will help elevate awareness of the inequities in college athletics by engaging in a service-focused action, such as mentoring or volunteering with an organization supporting equity in women’s sports.

“When we saw the disparity already growing in college NIL sponsorships, we knew we had to help female college athletes get a fair shot. This commitment draws from our purpose to provide help and inspire confidence in our clients and communities everywhere,” said Jeff Jones, president and CEO of H&R Block. “When we invest in female college athletes, we are helping to create a positive impact in society that’s good for all of us.”

Sophomore Caitlin Clark, a guard for the University of Iowa’s women’s basketball team, and junior Zia Cooke, a guard for the University of South Carolina’s women’s basketball team, are receiving the first two sponsorships.

Clark, a 2021 Consensus All-American, is ranked No. 1 in points per game and recently became the first player in Division 1 basketball history, women’s or men’s, to record back-to-back triple-doubles while scoring 30 or more points in both games. She also recently became the fastest player in Big Ten history to score 1,000 points in 40 games or less. Last year, Cooke was ranked No. 14 of the Top 25 women’s college basketball players in the country by ESPN, and she is expected to continue climbing the list during her junior year. Both women are leaders in supporting other women on and off the court.

“With tax help from H&R Block, I am confident in navigating changing circumstances. Together with H&R Block, we are starting a ripple effect by bringing greater awareness to women in sports,” Clark said.

“H&R Block is standing up for female student athletes by not only supporting us financially but making sure we’re set up for long-term success in understanding the tax implications of the money we’re earning from our name, image and likeness,” Cooke added.

For more information visit HRBlock.com/AFairShot.