10 Powerful Women In Sports Part 1
Women are changing the game in sports. Here are some of the trail blazers and role models that you should know.
Amy Brooks is the President of Team Marketing & Business Operations and Chief Innovation Officer for the NBA. She is responsible for business operations for all teams in the NBA, WNBA, NBA G League, and NBA 2K. Through her leadership, Brooks has brought growth, innovative ideas, and strategic decision-making to the overall business, marketing, sales, sponsorships, and more. Brooks has made numerous records in ticket sales and sponsorship revenue, as well as initiating the NBA’s extremely successful jersey patch program, which features corporate logos on team jerseys.
Gina Scott is the Vice President of Group Licensing | Partner Services at the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). She has also worked in the sports advertising and marketing industry with college sports, the NBA, and the NFL. The NFLPA represents all players in the NFL and handles their wages, hours, and protects their rights as athletes. With the NFLPA, Scott works with league partners and handles licensing rights for players. Her expertise lies in the field of sports marketing and sponsorships, by implementing player marketing strategies and developing and managing partnerships.
Katie Sowers received a lot of recognition for being the first female coach in Super Bowl history. Sowers is the Offensive Assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers. She is also the first openly gay coach in Super Bowl history, standing up and fighting for LGBTQ rights. Prior to her coaching career, Sowers played football in the Women’s Football Alliance. Her U.S. national team won gold in 2013 at the Women’s World Championships. 2020 will be Sowers fourth year coaching with the 49ers.
Over the years Pam Oliver has become a recognizable and respected face in the world of sports reporting. She is currently a FOX Sports Senior Correspondent and NFL Reporter. With FOX, Oliver has covered eight Super Bowls and been the lead feature reporter on FOX NFL Sunday. She also has a history reporting for ESPN, covering NFL Playoffs, NFL Prime Monday, Monday Night Football, NBA Finals, and NCAA College Basketball and Football. Oliver has also been a correspondent on 60 Minutes Sports.
Val Ackerman is best known for being the first president of the WNBA, as well as, the first female president of USA Basketball and the driving force that behind the creation of the USA Women’s National Basketball Team. Ackerman played college basketball for the University of Virginia, was a two-time All-American and served as team captain for three year. Currently, she is the commissioner of the Big East Conference and is a strong advocate for more women in leadership in sports.
Michele Roberts is the first woman to hold the position as Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association. She is also the first woman in North America to head a major professional sports union. Roberts uses her background from law school to represent and lead the NBA’s players union. In 2017, Roberts successfully secured a seven-year collective bargaining agreement for the NBPA, which respects the player’s rights and obligations. In March of 2020, Roberts announced that she would be stepping down from her position after six years.
Heidi Browning has made great strides for the NHL since becoming Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the league in 2016. Browning has pushed the boundaries in marketing and social media to make a greater digital presence for the NHL. She is looking towards the future by targeting younger generations through her creation of the Power Players Council. The council consists of hockey fans from ages 13-17, who share ideas and give noteable feedback on how to attract and engage fans.
Kim Ng is the highest ranking Asian American female executive in the baseball industry. Ng is the Senior Vice President of baseball operations for MLB. She began her career with MLB in 1997. She was quickly recognized for her professionalism and knowledge of baseball, and in 1998 she was hired as the Assistant General Manager for the New York Yankees. Ng was also the first female to be interviewed for a General Manager position for multiple teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2015, Ng was ranked #5 on Forbes Most Powerful Women in Sports list.
“Cynt” Marshall is the CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, which also makes her the first black female CEO in the NBA. Marshalls attended the University of California, Berkley where she studied business administration and human resource management on a full scholarship. Marshall started her position with the Mavericks in 2018 when the league was combating issues of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. She used her expertise in diversity and inclusion to come up with a 100-day plan to turn things around. She began hiring more women and people of color, working to close the gender pay gap for the Mavs.
Renu Khator is the president and chancellor of the University of Houston. She has a PhD in political science, is focused on improving the lives of every student at the university, and hopes to take them to the top of the leaderboard for public institutions. Khator also sits on the board of governors for the NCAA. The school has such confidence in her mission, Khator was able to upgrade their athletic facilities which included more than $180 million for a new stadium and indoor facility for the football program, in addition to renovating the basketball arena.