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Introducing the empowHERed blog!

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Welcome!

Hi friends! Welcome to the first-ever empowHERed blog post! We’re a little nervous, so please bear with us as we figure out this whole blogging thing.

First things first, thank you so much for being here! Since meeting when we were paired as roommates during our ESPN internship in college, we’ve spent the last eight years working in sports and know how difficult it can be to find female friends, mentors, and supporters in a male-dominated industry. But before we go into the inspiration for and the “why” behind empowHERed, we wanted to take a minute to introduce ourselves so we can get to know each other a little better.

Our friendship through the years

 

Hi, I'm Meghan!

I was born and raised in East Fallowfield, Pa., about 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia. Growing up as the oldest of four, I was always competitive, which naturally led me to sports. Soccer was my first love, as my parents spent nearly 15 years driving me to travel practices, games, and showcase tournaments for FC Delco.

I've been a Notre Dame fan since birth.

Like most of my teammates, I had dreams of starring on the U.S. women’s national team. In fact, one of my earliest sports memories is watching the 1999 Women’s World Cup final with my dad. He recorded the game (on VHS) and I can’t tell you how many times I made him rewatch all 120 minutes of scoreless action, followed by penalty kicks (did you know Brandi Chastain took that final shot with her non-dominant foot?! She’s amazing.) Fast forward 16 years and I got to watch the 2015 World Cup final with some of my idols from the ’99 team, including Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, and Kate Margraf. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

While multiple major hip surgeries ultimately ended my competitive soccer career (unless you count Thursday night rec league), I always knew that I wanted to work in the sports industry in some capacity. I grew up watching Philly sports and Notre Dame football (and I can’t wait to watch us win a national championship under Marcus Freeman). On the drive to school, my dad and I would listen to the local sports talk radio station, and he would try to stump me with sports trivia. That passion for sports led me to double major in sport management and mass communications at the University of Delaware. There, I worked for the athletic department and served as the Managing Sports Editor for the school newspaper, The Review. Additionally, my two best friends and I hosted our own sports talk show on the student radio station, and I had the chance to provide play-by-play and color commentary for the station’s football, basketball, hockey, and soccer broadcasts.

My soccer career started with my first coach, my dad, and younger brother Danny and continued with my travel soccer team, FC Delco


When I began looking for an internship during my junior year, my mom came across one with ESPN’s Stats and Info Group. After advancing to the second round of the process, I had to take a sports knowledge assessment. It was then that my years of trivia training finally paid off and I knew that I was in the right industry. Since that day, however, there have been numerous times when I’ve questioned that. While my career has taken me to some incredible places and included stops at ESPN, the Philadelphia Eagles, and now my own sports research company (Character Plus Consulting), it hasn’t been without challenges, all of which we’re going to get into in some of our upcoming blog posts.

Today, I run Character Plus Consulting, a character analytics agency that works with NFL and NBA teams on draft preparation and scouting. I also teach a sport management class at Widener University and have had the chance to be involved in some incredible research with several brilliant female professors from Temple University focused on women’s experiences with toxic work environments in the sports industry.

Outside of my career, I love reading, playing soccer, rock climbing, and hanging out with my family, including my wonderful husband Paul, who I met while we were both working at ESPN. We’ve been married two years (Sam was a bridesmaid and yes, she cried the whole time) and now live in Delaware with our dogs, Doughty (named for Kings defenseman Drew Doughty -- Paul’s choice, not mine) and Brandi (named after the aforementioned Brandi Chastain…that one was me). Now let me turn it over to Samantha.

 

Hi, my name’s Samantha...

and I was raised in Chapel Hill, N.C. I was also the oldest sibling and by far the most athletic (sorry to my little brother but it’s true). Like Meghan, I was very competitive and started playing sports at an early age. Basketball was my favorite. I spent years playing for school and travel teams. Growing up, I was usually one of the taller girls in my grade, so my coaches signed me up for every sport. I played soccer, volleyball, field hockey, lacrosse, tennis, and ran cross country. When I wasn't playing sports, I was watching them with my dad. I actually owe my career in sports to him because I didn't even think of working in sports until he mentioned it one afternoon when I visited home early in my college career. It seemed like an obvious career choice for me.


Basketball has always been my favorite sport!

That conversation led me to major in broadcast journalism with a focus on sports while at the University of North Carolina. In an effort to gain as much experience as possible, I served as a Campus Connection correspondent for ESPNU, covering UNC sports, including our top-5 men’s basketball and women’s soccer programs. I also had the opportunity to learn from former ESPN college basketball reporter, C.L. Brown, who took me under his wing during my college career and became a great mentor.


During my junior year at UNC, I earned an internship with espnW, where I made some incredible memories and connections that have continued to help me to this day. After college, I began my career with the Salem Red Sox, the Single-A minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox before being called up to the big leagues. As the Red Sox social media coordinator, I had the chance to create content and educate players on the importance of brand building and was part of the organization for the 2018 World Series victory! Since then, I’ve launched my own social media consulting company, Local Social, working with athletes and brands and currently run the agency arm of Character Plus Consulting, where we partner with college athletes and collectives. It hasn’t always been easy (far from it), but that’s why I’m so excited for the opportunity to connect with other women in sports through empowHERed.


From peewee soccer to repping my hometown Panthers while working for the Salem Sox, sports is in my blood.


Aside from my work, I love cooking, traveling, hanging out with my friends, family and pets, including my dog, MJ (named after the GOAT, UNC’s own Michael Jordan, of course) and cat, Goose (named after the cat from Captain Marvel. I’m a huge Marvel fan!).

 

So that’s a little bit about us! Through empowHERed, we’re hoping that by sharing our experience, including the difficult times, providing hard-earned lessons and advice, and creating a community of support, we can help other women through their journeys. Besides telling our stories, we also have an incredible lineup of webinars coming this fall, featuring speakers from all across the sports industry. Plus, stay tuned for details on our new mentor program, which will feature one-on-one mentorship opportunities with women from the NWSL, TNT, ESPN, and more!


For now, we leave you with a reminder to join our exclusive LinkedIn community to connect with other women in the industry. This is where we’ll post about webinars, share discussion topics, and just check in with our group of awesome women. Once you join, don't be shy! Comment and tell us a little bit about yourself! And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to download The empowHERed Guide to Landing a Job in Sports for some helpful hints and best practices during the hiring process.

The empowHERed Guide to Landing a Job in the Sports Industry
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.96MB

Have a great day and remember, you’re awesome and you belong here!


Talk to you soon!




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