Have you been engaging in Twitter #chats? If not, you should be! It is a great way to meet others with similar interests as well as gain insight into some interesting topics. Today we are featuring PR specialist, Angie Taylor, the host of #SportsPRchat on Twitter! She has been involved with the sports industry for the past 6 years.
Please give us a little background on how you got to your current role:
Outside of my full-time position as Assistant Account Executive for Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm, I became involved with #SportsPRchat, a Twitter-hosted chat (every Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. ET), earlier this year. The chat features questions based on current sports issues and communications trends affecting the industry. The #SportsPRchat founder, Mike Schaffer (@mikeschaffer), turned over the reins after embracing some new exciting personal and professional opportunities. I applied to be the next moderator to continue the wonderful work that Mike had built. To put it in sports terms, I took the field as a ref in the #SportsPRchat game.
How did you decide you wanted to get into the sports industry?
I had been involved with sports from a very early age, competing in soccer, basketball, volleyball and swimming. After high school, I wanted to stay involved in athletics even thought I was no longer competing. I began working toward a career in broadcasting and also worked in the university athletic department. It wasn't until my first internship outside of athletics that I knew I had to return to my passion!
What was the first step you took to get into the sports industry?
After my first few internships, I realized the benefit of pursing a masters in Sports Management. I attended the University of Tennessee to help get educated about the business of sport, but I learned more from experiences and opportunities while at UT. Through hard work and application, I had wonderful graduate experiences and made some amazing connections in the industry.
Was there a time or situation that made you second-guess your path?
No, I look forward to coming to work every day! But, I think something that catches young professionals off guard is the fact that they usually miss a large percentage of the actual sporting event because of working. My job almost always takes place behind the scenes, but I have done some really cool things!
Please let us know whom your mentor(s) were/are on your journey.
I have learned so much from so many, and definitely don't want to leave anyone out! That said, I have to give credit to a variety of people, including professors from the University of Tennessee's Sport Management program, members of the UT athletic department, and professionals from the sports groups at Fleishman-Hillard St. Louis and Weber Shandwick St. Louis.
What tips or advice would you give to a female wanting to enter the sports industry?
Some of the most things to know about getting in to the sports industry as a male OR female, are:
a. you might not start in your "dream" job,
b. you must be willing to start at the bottom, probably unpaid;
c. you must be prepared to work long hours, and probably weekends.
Additionally, use every opportunity as grounds for networking and experience. You might be asked to pick up trash around a PGA Open, or manage volunteers at the Super Bowl, but you better embrace those as opportunities to work at a U.S. Open/Super Bowl and meet some industry leaders*! *Because from experience, it happens.
Do you think there is a negative ring that automatically lies around females within the sports industry since it’s a male dominated industry?
Maybe, but if you dwell on that, then you're not doing anything to help change that perception.
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?
Sucks that you "know more," but you're watching the game from your couch while I'm surrounded by the confetti after an SEC championship. Like I said, I don't let it affect me. Dirt off my shoulders!
Have you had a personal experience where someone doubted you and you proved to him or her that they should support you?
My stack of media credentials and schwag is proof enough.
What is your biggest accomplishment to-date in terms of your experience in the sports world?
I've done some really cool things, but most recently, having industry professionals on #SportsPRchat has been really rewarding. So far, we've had Brian Berger of Sports Business Radio, Kathleen Hessert of Sports Media Challenge, Robert Littal of BlackSportsOnline.com and Arthur Triche with the Atlanta Hawks. I love the fact that this chat helps connect people from a variety of levels and experiences with recognizable figures.
If there were one thing you could change about the sports industry, what would it be?
I know there is more of a focus on concussion awareness and prevention in sports, but I would like to see more athletes respect that knowledge. It will take a long time to change the "play through the pain" culture of sports. We all need to share a real and profound concern and respect for athletes and their well-being.
Other than that, a playoff system for college football.
What is your favorite sports moment?
Brandy Chastain’s penalty goal that won the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup for the US.
What is your favorite sport quote?
There are so many sport quotes that apply to a range of things, but I'd have to say Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's "You can't win unless you learn how to lose." Sometimes you have to lose and get knocked down to learn how to get up and finish the job.
What are your favorite sport websites?
Although I visit ESPN, CBSSports.com, SBNation.com, Yahoo!, etc., Twitter has actually replaced a lot of my favorite sports bookmarks and RSS feeds. I follow tweeple/handles like @DarrenRovell, @GrantWahl, @SportsBizMiss, @SI_PeterKing, @ ESPN_Michelle, @SportsGuy33, @slmandel, @MikeSilver, @SECSportsUpdate, @SBJSBD, @sbnation, @CoSIDAnews, @KathleenHessert, @blksportsonline, @SBradio, @HawksPRguy, etc.
Do you have a favorite player/team?
Tennessee Vols and Lady Vols, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Bulls, and as of recent, my NFL-ligeancy has been controversial :)
Any advice for female fans or female sports professionals?
Hold it down, girl! Work hard, but don't forget to stop and enjoy what you do.
Check out our previous Female Sports Professional interviews as well:
Marcelle English: Co-founder of Jersey Girl Sports
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!