Female Sports Executives See Growth Ahead, As Well As Challenges

  • Front Office Sports reached out to numerous high-ranking female executives on their thoughts from last year and a look into what lies ahead.

2019 was a year of many firsts for women in sports. The WNBA made former Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert its first-ever commissioner and has since negotiated a new, historic CBA. Former NHL executive Jessica Berman was named deputy commissioner of the National Lacrosse League in June – the first time a woman has held this title in a men’s sport. Last summer also saw the United States women’s national soccer team both reclaim the FIFA Women’s World Cup title and […]

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MLB Increasing Youth Outreach With Help From USA Baseball and Softball

  • Though MLB attendance is down, youth participation is up and outpacing football and soccer.
  • Increasing travel ball costs remain an obstacle, and a target for MLB's efforts.

Amid waning attendance numbers, Major League Baseball is putting more emphasis on engaging with kids to help maintain the sport’s popularity. In 2020, MLB will host a wide range of baseball and softball development initiatives designed to increase accessibility and foster development within the youth and amateur levels of baseball. That is coming via increased efforts from the league to work with some of the sport’s other big stakeholders in USA Baseball and USA Softball.  “What’s exciting is that we’re […]

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Minor League Baseball Bringing More Women To Winter Meetings

  • Since 2017, Minor League Baseball has welcomed women to Winter Meetings through its Women in Baseball Leadership Event Scholarship opportunity.
  • In two years, nearly 200 women have applied for a handful of scholarship slots for the Winter Meetings.

Since 2008, Minor League Baseball has hosted the annual Women in Baseball Leadership Event in December during the league’s Winter Baseball Meetings. Throughout the years though, the event proved to be a significant cost barrier for many league officials, particularly women. To assist female baseball executives who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the Baseball Winter Meetings, the Women in Baseball Leadership Committee launched the inaugural Women in Baseball Leadership Event Scholarship in 2017. “After the first year, […]

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MLS’s Diversity Hiring Grades Dip In 2019

  • In its 2019 Racial and Gender Report Card, MLS received an overall score of 82.9% - a 2.1% drop from 2018.
  • It also received C and A marks in its gender and racial hiring practices, respectively.

In 2019, Major League Soccer showed signs of strides, as well as setbacks, when it comes to embracing gender and racial diversity in the workplace. According to the 2019 MLS Racial and Gender Report Card from the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports, MLS received a B with a combined score of 82.9% for its gender and diversity hiring practices. This represented not only a 2.1% drop in the overall score but a decline from […]

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Shot Callers: Oris Stuart, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, NBA

The NBA believes that diversity and inclusion can be a driving force behind innovation and can greatly help in improving the business of basketball. FOS Senior Writer Michael McCarthy chats with Oris Stuart of the NBA about his unique role within the organization and how the league works to bring the game of basketball to all people. Edited highlights appear below: On what his job entails (0:23) Stuart: “We support all of the activities across the league that are targeted […]

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Behrens, Brooks At Forefront Of NBA’s Push For Gender Diversity

For two of the NBA’s leading female executives, their path to the league couldn’t have been more different. While Kathy Behrens was a multi-sport athlete at the University of Hartford – playing basketball and tennis – she never envisioned her sports career extending beyond college. She envisioned herself working up the ranks of the nonprofit and government sectors – and did so for nearly 20 years. Meanwhile, Amy Brooks’ earliest basketball memories were in her hometown of Sacramento, Calif. With […]

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women in sports roundtable

Women In Sports Roundtable: Big Sky Athletic Directors

As the Big Sky Conference hits the 2019-20 season, there are now five female athletic directors in the conference – the highest number of any NCAA conference. FOS asked each athletic director where the most progress has been made while working as a woman in sports and what barriers or hurdles still exist.  Debbie Corum, Southern Utah University director of athletics During your career, what’s changed the most as a woman working in sports?  The opportunities. That’s really been, the […]

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Berman Joins NLL As League Prepares For Growth

After more than 13 years of working in the NHL league office, Jessica Berman felt that she reached a point in her career that if an opportunity came about that would challenge and help her further develop professionally, she’d consider it. That presented itself as an opportunity with National League Lacrosse, which Berman will join as its new deputy commissioner and executive vice president of business affairs. Berman, who most recently was vice president of community development, culture and growth […]

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Shot Callers: Amy Huchthausen, America East Conference

The America East Conference has seen several great successes in recent years, from UMBC men’s basketball’s upset over Virginia to postseason success in men’s and women’s lacrosse. The league has also made important strides in mental health advocacy as well as diversity and inclusion. FOS Editor Ian Thomas sat down with Amy Huchthausen, Commissioner of the America East Conference, to talk about the league’s success in recent years, capturing the big moments, and the league’s off the field initiatives. Edited […]

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