It is no lie that the sport industry is male-dominant. When you hear the big names like famous football announcer John Madden, previous New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello or current owner of the most recent Super Bowl champs Robert Kraft, it is evident that this flourishing industry is male-driven. However, throughout the years, women have successfully worked their way into professional leagues and are forever changing the game.
Noting that most professional announcers, general mangers and team owners are predominantly male, many understand that when you enter this growing industry, you usually have to start from the bottom. Before any future sports-influenced man or woman begins his or her journey through any professional league, starting from the bottom is customary.
“The bottom” can commonly be referred to as any college or minor league team. The ultimate goal, of course, is to make it big while gaining the needed experience, almost like climbing a ladder to get to the top.
Two women who understand that experience drives the industry are Boston University’s director of hockey operations Brittany Miller and Providence College’s Theresa Feaster. These women are the first two to be hired as full-time staff members of any men’s Division I hockey team.
Impressive, right? Not all women just enjoy watching a team play because they have cute players and colorful jerseys. The fact that these two successful women were hired for a men’s Division I team shows that women are to be taken seriously in the sports business. In fact, Miller and Feaster both hope to one day play management roles in the National Hockey League (NHL). Like them, I hope to pursue a career in the NHL as well.
Many years ago, when I was introduced to such a tough, rugged, passionate sport, I knew that my life had forever been changed. I grew up watching and learning everything there is to know about hockey. Being able to attend various professional and college hockey games when I was younger made me realize that there is nothing else I want to do in life than to devote 100 percent of my time and energy into this sport.
The players, fans, energy, atmosphere, statistics and so many other elements of hockey are what really motivated me to pursue a career in the NHL. Although I never came to think that my gender would compromise my ability to live, love and breathe hockey, at times it does have an affect.
Any typical sports-crazed know-it-all male fan would argue that most women don’t know sports, let alone hockey. Nonetheless, when I am able to list all thirty NHL teams, categorized by division, in less than two minutes, the facial expressions on some guys are priceless.
With such a passion for hockey, hoping to follow in Miller and Feaster’s footsteps, working for the Montclair State men’s ice hockey team has been one of the most strategic, career-enhancing things I have done so far. Even though this club team is not Division I, it does not matter. I am able to gain the experience of managing a hockey team while getting a behind-the-scenes look of everything that goes into making a hockey team successful. With this recent management position, I am sure that I was not meant to do anything else.
Not only are women working their way into professional leagues, but a select few have already made it big. Sportscaster and host of Fox College Football and co-host of College GameDay on ESPN Erin Andrews has had a very successful career so far in the sport industry. As of 2016, she has a total net worth of $20 million. Aside from college football, she also reported for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Atlanta Braves.
Through Andrews’ success in the reporting and broadcasting field, she also signed an endorsement deal with Reebok back in 2011. Her recent work even landed her a co-hosting job on Dancing with the Stars. Professionally, Andrews exemplifies the success that continues to grow for women in the sports industry.