Did you know that women watch more sports than soap operas! Yep, BigResearch Media Study found us that over 60% of women watched sports regularly vs. 42% who watched soap operas regularly. Thanks to sites like Jersey Girl Sports for recognizing this and creating a one stop shop for for female sports fans around the world! Today we are happy to have one of the founders of this great site, Marcelle English, who has been in the sports industry for almost 7 years, share her experience with us.
Very similar to LadyBallers, Jersey Girl Sports strive to create an experience where a woman can find her place and add value within her favorite sport. Additionally they educate, inform and entertain women who enjoy sports. Jersey Girl Sports understands the power and influence that women have in sports and thus creates opportunities to capitalize on the strengths and value they bring to the industry.
Please give us a little background on how you got to your current role: I have been a sports enthusiast for since high school. I did my first celebrity athlete interview in high school with baseball and football Great, Bo Jackson, and I went on to cover the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. While in college I wrote for the sports section of my college paper. While doing morning drive radio in Atlanta, I met a number of athletes and when leaving that job I decided to open my own PR/Marketing Agency that catered to professional athletes. My first client became the starting QB for the Dallas Cowboys, Quincy Carter. So taking all of my sports passion and knowledge, I was able to put all of that into what I do today with Jersey Girl Sports.
How did you decide you wanted to get into the sports industry? I believe that I always knew. My first job out of college was working for the top radio station in Atlanta, and after many years of doing that I knew that my sports appetite was not getting met. So I went out and created my own opportunity.
What was the first step you took to get into the sports industry? Really finding out what sport interest me and figuring out how to take my taking my special skill set and making it work in the sports arena. Everybody can’t dribble a basketball or catch a football, but there is some talent that is unique to you that you can parlay into a career in sports.
Was there a time or situation that made you second-guess your path? No. After working in radio for so many years, I knew that wasn’t my path and sports was. I always think it’s good to know what you don’t like so when the good stuff comes around you can embrace it.
Please let us know whom your mentor(s) were/are on your journey. My first would by my Mom. She has instilled so much in me that has made me who I am today. I know that sounds like such a cliché, but it’s true. She continues to push me when I think I have no more left in me. I honestly don’t believe that I would be who or where I am without her. Then on the professional side would be PR/Branding Maven, Marvet Britto, whom I just recently met, but I had always been empowered and inspired by her story of success.
What tips or advice would you give to a female wanting to enter the sports industry? First off know what you’re talking about; knowledge is power. Having the knowledge will help with your confiendence. Since the sports industry is such a boy’s club you need to bring more to the table than just a pretty face. Also be in the industry because that’s what you love and that’s where your passion lies, not because you think it’s glamorous or sexy. Breaking a lot of the barriers and surviving the “no’s” is not going to be easy.
Do you think there is a negative ring that automatically lies around females within the sports industry since it’s a male dominated industry? Of course. When it comes to sports men look at women as less than. I can remember Angela (my business partner) and I were telling a guy what Jersey Girl Sports was all about and he said, ‘so you dumb-down sports’, and that is the perception that men have about women and sports.
What would you say to the men who don’t see women as being on the same level when it comes to the sports industry? I think if those men would start using their powers for good instead of evil (keeping women from the table) they would be able to see we are just as equipped, educated and knowledgeable as the man sitting to their left or right. Plus, I KNOW that if there were women at the table this NFL lockout foolishness would have been taken care of long time ago…LOL!
Have you had a personal experience where someone doubted you and you proved to him or her that they should support you? I think this happens every day. Jersey Girl Sports turned 2 years old in June and people didn’t think we would make it pass the first 90 days, and they definitely didn’t believe we would have relationships with companies like Toyota, Sony or Macy’s. So every day is a testament to proving someone wrong who doubted us.
What is your biggest accomplishment to-date in terms of your experience in the sports world? I have two. The first would be being published in the USA Today and on CNN online when I was covering the ’96 Olympic Games, and the second would be launching Jersey Girl Sports with my best friend, Angela Davis.
If there were one thing you could change about the sports industry, what would it be? The treatment that college players receive at the larger schools to me is crazy. These are students, kids, they are not on someone’s payroll. Some of these colleges view these kids as cash cows, not as students who are there to get an education.
What is your favorite sports moment? I actually have a lot, but something recent would be the comeback of Michael Vick. I had an opportunity to work with Vick when he was with the Atlanta Falcons, and to see his fall then see him comeback has been some great sports moments.
What is your favorite sport quote?
"There are plenty of teams in every sport that have great players and never win titles. Most of the time, those players aren't willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the team. The funny thing is, in the end, their unwillingness to sacrifice only makes individual goals more difficult to achieve. One thing I believe to the fullest is that if you think and achieve as a team, the individual accolades will take care of themselves. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." - Michael Jordan
What are your favorite sport websites? Of course, Jersey Girl Sports, the fastest growing website for female sports fans, then probably Yahoo Sports and Huffington Post. But, Jersey Girl Sports is #1 on the list.
Do you have a favorite player/team? Being from D.C., I love my Washington Redskins, win or lose, I’m a true fan. I also love LeBron James, aka My Bron Bron, not only because of his style and electricity on the court, but also because of how he handles the ‘business of basketball’.
Any advice for female fans or female sports professionals? Even with all of the work, enjoy yourself. Have fun, that’s what sports is all about.
Check out our previous Female Sports Professional interviews as well:
Adena Andrews: espnW.com columnist
Melanie Curtsinger: Communications Manager for the Orlando Magic
Alana Nguyen: Managing editor for Yardbarker, a FOX Sports Interactive company
Susan Lulgjuraj: Staff writer at the Press of Atlantic City
Lauren Shehadi: CBSSports.com/CBS College Sports Network Anchor and Reporter
Alana Glass: Founder & Owner of Iwanttobeanowner.com
Claire Wright: Events Manager with Central Florida Sports Commission
Mahogany Ratcliffe: Co-creator & co-host of Bad Girls of Sports
Jennifer Taglione: Founder and owner of Stiletto Sports
Jennifer Rodriguez: Co-creator & co-host of Bad Girls of Sports
Justine Brown: Production-Assistant with the NFL Network
Jessica Quiroli: Baseball blogger and covers high school sports for Ultimate Athlete Magazine
Melissa Miller: Assistant Brand Manager for the Orlando Magic
Amber Anderson: Grassroots Marketing Coordinator for the Orlando Magic
Kathryn Stuart: Course Director, Sports Management and Operations - Masters Program at FullSail University
Are you a female interested in sharing your Professional Sports experience or know a female who would be good to feature? Email us and let us know!