Whether it’s the breakthrough heights of the 2022 Women’s European soccer championships or the unprecedented attendance and viewership of the Women’s Final Four, female sports are more popular than ever. A sense of community, of a turning tide in favor of athletic equity has stimulated change more than anything else. On the horizon is a unifying platform developed by a female entrepreneur, aimed towards Olympians, Paralympians, and anyone interested in women’s sports.
Flame Bearers emerged in 2020. Its mission, spearheaded by founder Jamie Mittelman, is to elevate the stories of female athletes. Through podcast and live events, Flame Bearers is rapidly becoming a notable name for anything related to elite female athletes.
But there’s more to Mittelman’s project than organic content. Her main offerings are well established—the Flame Bearers podcast is verging on its fourth season, and she has hosted events on stages as big as Harvard and Super Bowl side-events. Her focus now turns to the next opportunity: creative partnerships with communities, organizations, and institutions.
Panels, podcasts, and platforms
An organization may have its toes in many fields, but most have yet to realize their potential to scale their impact through media collaborations or bringing in a wider range of guest speakers. For example, an educational institution may have a strong schedule of female guest speakers but a minimal reach beyond the school walls. A small business may be trying to show its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, but has historically only hosted able-bodied speakers. That’s where Flame Bearers comes in.
The media company elevates female Olympians and Paralympians from all over the world, allowing Mittelman to match partners with the perfect guest. Each athlete’s story is different. If an organization’s presence is primarily online, Mittelman focuses on elevating athletes in remote parts of the world whose voices would otherwise not be heard.
Value in validation
Providing value is central to Flame Bearers’ mission. Since the beginning, it has focused on telling stories and sharing the experiences of female Olympians and Paralympians. While other organizations such as Just Women’s Sports and The Gist are reporting based (sharing updates on scores and trades for example) Flame Bearers’ bread and butter is storytelling, elevating the women wearing the jerseys, their backstories and dreams for the future.
Organizations are constantly looking for ways to demonstrate their commitment for equity, diversity, and inclusion, yet few think about ability in those conversations. According to the United Nations, about 650 million people live with a disability, making it the world’s largest minority group. Partnering with Flame Bearers could be an ideal way to illustrate a company’s commitment without leaving any group behind.
“We champion women from all parts of the world with different abilities and disabilities,” Mittelman says. “It’s hard for young girls to be what they can’t see. If you represent role models of different races, abilities, religions, and sexualities from across the world, it broadens what they think is possible in their own lives.”
The advantages of advocacy
Forward-thinking organizations will recognize the intrinsic value in elevating women’s stories and Flame Bearers collaborations also offer significant benefits for the collaborator’s journey.
Partnering with Flame Bearers means access to free, unique women’s sports content. One of Mittelman’s biggest assets is her network of inspirational female athletes, all with different stories. A collaboration could allow the collaborator to broaden the groups it represents and supports.
Representation has benefits beyond its contribution to a global movement. If an organization’s work is about getting more young girls into sports, sharing real-world success stories could catalyze their progress. Looking outwards, association with an inclusive company could position the partner as more forward-thinking than its contemporaries.
Flame Bearers started with an idea but is on the verge of unlocking its potential in the wider sports world. Three years ago, Jamie Mittelman had a dream where female Olympians and Paralympians could finally have their unedited tales heard. Now, the female entrepreneur turns to other women’s sports organizations to help write th e next chapter of the Flame Bearers story.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.