They show up ready to go with drive and purpose. Making every play better than the one before. They’re meeting the future head on, blazing better paths. These women are Game Changers. They have big dreams. To keep their communities alive and ensure women get paid what they deserve. With the right tech, expertise and innovation are their superpowers. We’re recognizing women reinventing the future of sports. Athletes, organizations, and leaders using Microsoft to champion better games and opportunities for women and their communities.
Join us in celebrating these innovative Game Changers.
Changing the game is a way of life for Billie Jean King. The Original 9. The Battle of the Sexes. 39 Grand Slam Titles. As the number one women’s tennis player from 1966-1968, 1971-1972, and in 1974, Billie Jean knew that making tennis better for women makes tennis better for everyone.
Billie Jean has brought game-changing into the new millennium. The Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge, formerly the Fed Cup, is the largest annual global team competition in women’s sports. As part of the groundbreaking partnership between The Billie Jean King Cup and Microsoft, coaches and players review transformative insights on player, score, and ball data using the Azure dashboard on courtside Microsoft Surface tablets. From serve speed to hit point to player movement, Azure processes, analyzes, and visualizes data in real time. Billie Jean believes that the data is a huge benefit to players as they look to understand and improve their level of play.
Dyslexia hasn’t stopped A’ja Wilson. Few things can curb the spirit of a WNBA 1st overall draft pick, 2x WNBA MVP, 4x WNBA All-Star, WNBA champion, and Olympic gold medalist. But it wasn’t easy. As a teenager, she learned she had dyslexia—one of the most common learning disabilities in the world, and one she saw as a weakness that was best kept secret. As A’ja became a college basketball phenom, she realized she was ready to reveal her full self and help others do the same.
That’s why A’ja and her parents started the A’ja Wilson Foundation. The nonprofit’s mission is two-fold. It serves as a resource for children and their families who struggle with dyslexia by providing education programming, workshops, camps, and grants. And it also focuses on changing student culture by fostering inclusivity and compassion at school. Microsoft is working with the star to help educators and students in the classroom make the most of tools like Immersive Reader in Microsoft 365 and raise awareness for dyslexia.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Madison Hafitz used to be a Kilometer Kid—the name given to members of Atlanta Track Club’s largest youth running program which launched in 2007. Now she manages Kilometer Kids, Youth Running, and a multi-year collaboration between Atlanta Track Club and Microsoft. As the Official Technology Partner of Atlanta Track Club with a focus on youth programming and events, Microsoft is integrating STEM activities into youth events, modernizing operations with Azure, Microsoft 365, and Teams.
At the Midweek Mile and Dash—a free monthly event from Atlanta Track Club—kids got to use MakeCode, a free online learn-to-code game platform. Kids code their own arcade running games and build their own pedometers, demonstrating how tech can boost fitness habits and make it fun.
Using her extensive STEM background in community health and health education, Madison has gone the extra mile to support her hometown. She’s excited about increasing access to physical activity opportunities for Atlanta youth and building community through sport.
As a WNBA 1st overall draft pick, Jewell Loyd’s basketball skills are no secret. Her love for studying the numbers has contributed to her success. Power BI dashboard’s visual aids make it easy for her to improve her game with statistics and tech. From defensive stats to figuring out where on the court her least accurate shots originate, Jewell studies it all.
Jewell is using data to stay consistent and efficient as her game evolves. Continued growth is what’s next for the 2x WNBA champion, 4x WNBA all-star, and Olympic gold medalist. Microsoft shares her love for data and is working with Jewell to create ways to inspire other girls and women to get in the game on and off the court.
The Atlanta Dream has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in nine of its first 15 seasons, reaching the finals three times, since their first WNBA season in 2008. Their hard work has paid off. The 2022 season was big for the development of the franchise, sealing a multi-year partnership with Microsoft, giving them access to Surface devices, Azure, Dynamics , and Power BI. The Atlanta Dream is also using these tools to empower the girls and women of Atlanta.
The Atlanta Dream’s ‘Power Her Dreams’ basketball clinics teach STEM concepts to girls through basketball, inspiring them to go for careers in STEM. The partnership believes that investing in and empowering young women will lead to more connected communities. Participants receive lessons connecting STEM topics like gravity, friction and coding to basketball from the Atlanta Dream team as well as surprise appearances and autograph signings from Dream players and coaches.