Britt Rheault is taking the social sports world by storm one city at a time. The born and bred Boston sports fan turned DMV lady boss has spent nearly five years lending her passion, experience and knowledge to United Fray, where she currently oversees leagues in Phoenix, Jacksonville, New Orleans and the District from the company’s home office in Northeast DC’s Brentwood neighborhood.
When Fray’s director of sports operations first participated in the Sport & Social Industry Association’s annual conference for all social sports companies in the U.S. and Canada, only 10 percent of attendees were women. Last month, she went to the conference for the fifth time and the number of industry females in attendance had risen to 40 percent.
“The sports industry has always been a male-dominated world, but it keeps growing and women’s involvement keeps increasing by the day,” she says.
Rheault credits Fray’s founder and CEO Robert Kinsler with embracing female empowerment, noting that the company has more women in leadership roles than men.
“I feel like we have a pretty solid split on the women-to-men ratio. It keeps increasing. In the sports industry, you don’t always have that, so I’m very appreciative.”
Fray has offered participation in women’s leagues throughout the years, and the numbers have always fluctuated. To try and meet in the middle, Fray offers open divisions so there’s no gender requirements.
“It can be a team of all women or all men, or half women [and] half men. It’s to bridge that gap so we can get that opportunity of all women who want to play together.”
Rheault went to Worcester State University where she played softball and basketball. To stay active, she now plays in several Fray leagues including kickball and Skee-Ball, and occasionally cornhole and softball.
“[The leagues] are definitely just for fun, for the social and the drinking [aspects]. I could care less if we win.”
She’s helped come up with more creative ways of getting female players involved, including river tubing, speed dating and yoga.
“We’re trying to offer as many options as possible to get as many different females and males involved with what we have going on,” she explains. “The goal is to keep increasing those opportunities so we can be as inclusive as possible. Bringing as many people in to join the Fray family is what we want.”
After receiving her master’s in sports management at Northeastern University, Rheault joined DC Fray as a sports coordinator for permitting. Now, she has a total of nine direct reports at the rapidly expanding company.
“I’ve been on such a journey with this company. When I started, it was me and two other guys who were doing everything. We’ve gone from that to now [having] 20 full-time employees with Fray and [expansion to] three other cities.”
She’s seen immense growth among the sports leagues too, with the number of players rising from 25,000 to more than 60,000 among Fray’s four markets. But the expansion hasn’t stopped there.
“Embracing those other avenues in events and media – and growing us to be more than just a sports company [and] offering something to everyone – that’s probably been one of the most incredible things to see.”
Spring registration for team sports is open through March 26 and for bar sports through April 2. Find your league at www.dcfray.com/leagues.