Working together, helping each other - this is how U.S. women brought home the "gold" in the 2012 Olympics. U.S. women's teams won the gold medal in soccer, basketball, gymnastics, beach volleyball, water polo, track 4x100 relay, and the tennis doubles match. And individual achievement was on full display as well. Women winning individual gold included Missy Franklin (pictured above left) in swimming, and Gabby Douglas (pictured right) for the individual all around gymnastics competition, and many more. In all, U.S. women won over 25 gold medals, and don't forget the silver and the bronze! Read more about it in Timothy Rapp's article on bleacherreport.com. The "take away" is this - determination, teamwork and dedication will help you reap rewards and earn your own gold! But helping each other is the key. You could easily see, just watching these young women, how much support they gave one another. The business world should do the same!
Lia Neal, a high school student at the Convent of the Sacred Heart School in New York, became a member of the 2012 US Olympic Women's Swimming Team, earning fourth place in the 100 Meter Freestyle to secure a spot on the 4 X 100 Meter Freestyle Relay. Read more and watch her race on sophie.org.
Teresa Edwards (pictured), five-time Olympian and former WNBA coach and player, and Julie Edelman, Author of "The Accidental Housewife" joined local women volunteers from Habitat for Humanity-New York City to represent "The Build Generation" at the Taft Houses Youth Chorus Center for "National Women Build Week". National Women Build Week is part of Habitat for Humanity's "Women Build" program developed in partnership with Lowe's to help recruit and train women volunteers. Taft Houses Youth Chorus Center provides residents, ages nine to 21 with intensive vocal training and lessons in music history and choreography, and fosters self-esteem among its young musicians. Read more about it all in the prnewswire press release. The most decorated player in the history of USA basketball (four gold medals and one bronze), Teresa Edwards is the only American basketball player, male or female, to compete in five Olympics!
Rosie Napravnik became the first female jockey to win the "Kentucky Oaks" race yesterday on a horse called "Believe You Can", making history as the first woman to ever win the race. Read more on baltimoresun.com. "Believe you can" - words to remember!
USA TODAY appointed Mary Byrne Managing Editor, Sports for USA TODAY. Mary started at USA TODAY Sports in 2004 and before that spent seven years at the Miami Herald. See prnewswire press release.
For women's history month and as we celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Title IX, let's not forget the history being made everyday by women in sports across the country. Women are breaking barriers on the fields and in tournaments, and breaking barriers in the business side of sports. This morning I attended the Women in Sports and Events (WISE) "Power Play" breakfast, featuring women in the golf industry. WISE, founded by Sue Rodin (pictured), is the leading professional organization for women working in the sports industry, and creates support programs that enhance the success and growth of women's careers. Speaking at the breakfast were Sandy Cross, Director of Business Dvelopment, The PGA of America; Sarah Hirshland, the Senior Managing Dirctor of Business Affairs, USGA; and Cynthia Howard, Director of New Business Development, PGA Tour. Also on the panel from the media world were Laura Sequenzia, Publisher of Golf World and Sarah Turcotte, a senior writer for ESPN who was moderating. Sandy, who holds a Masters in Sports Administration from Kent State University, discussed how the some of the perceptions of golf, (that it takes too long, and is not customer oriented) stifles growth and how they are working hard to encourage more participation. Sarah talked about the exciting opportunities for growth in the future of golf, and believes women play a big part in that. Cynthia talked about the PGA Tour and their new successful mobile app. Technology is a challenge for the game, and all are working to see the best way to incorporate it for golfers and to determine how to use it to build on positive fan experiences. It's impressive to see these accomplished women making a difference in their industry. Thanks to Wise for making such events possible. The Wise Women of the Year Awards Luncheon will be held June 19, 2012 in New York.
Michelle Obama will lead the Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Mrs. Obama hopes that the Olympic Games will inspire more young people to get active and healthy, the goal of her Let’s Move! initiative. “In the months ahead, I’ll be talking to Americans all across the country to encourage even more young people to tap into that Olympic spirit and turn their inspiration into action,” said Mrs. Obama. Read more in the White House press release. In photo above, Michelle Obama joins North Carolina school children at a “Let’s Move!” pre-game event - Official White House Photo By Chuck Kennedy.
The 5th International Olympic Committee World Conference on Women and Sport, held in California these past few days, announced the winners of the IOC 2012 Women in Sports Awards. The awards are given to women who work to get more women involved in sport as athletes and leaders. The IOC Women and Sport Commission Chairperson Anita DeFrantz (pictured) said: “We are all here for the same reason: to find ways to ensure that the voices of women are heard in the decision making bodies of sport.”
One of the speakers at the event, Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the organizing committee for the upcoming London Olympics, told the audience about the role of women in the London Summer Games. According to Helene Elliott's article on latimes.com, "Women serve as LOCOG's (London Games) Director of Strategic Programs, Director of Sport, General Counsel and Human Resources Director". In addition, 54% of the workforce for the games is women. Duncan Mackay's article on insidethegames.biz tells us how Sebastion did it, how he worked for gender equity in managing the Games. He was "a little bit braver"! When a list of names to fill a job came to him, if there wasn't a woman's name on it, he sent it back! This is what should happen here in all areas, not just sports. Coe knew there were women who could do the job, and he wanted to know who they were.
There are women moving into new areas in sport outside the Olympics as well. Natalie Nakase became the first female head coach in Japan's top-tier men's professional basketball league. And Sue Falsone is the Dodgers' new head athletic trainer and physical therapist, the first woman to be head trainer in the U.S. major professional sports.
So spread the word to executives on Coe's "how to" - Be a bit braver!! Don't accept a list of candidates to fill a job if there isn't a woman on it. Don't be on a panel or go to a conference that doesn't include sufficient women speakers. Be proactive about it. As Coe said, it's not about quotas, its about choosing the best person from a list that includes women who can do the job.
Women in Sports & Events (WISE), the resource for professional women in the business of sports and events, appointed Kathleen Francis Chair of the National Board of Directors. Kathleen had previously served as Managing Director, Marketing and Development at the United States Tennis Association and also held senior positions at Major League Baseball and the Meadowlands Sports & Entertainment Complex. Kathleen founded and now leads Oasis Sports Ventures. Read more in the prnewswire press release.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated in many ways by many people. In Iowa this weekend, the University of Iowa volleyball and soccer teams will hold their annual PINK matches. The Iowa volleyball will host Indiana on Friday in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and give free pink Tigerhawk headbands to the first 1,000 fans attending as part of its "Attacking Breast Cancer" match. $1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics' Holden Cancer Center. Let us know what your schools and groups are doing. Read more on the dailyiowan.com
Susan Herbst, who became President of the University of Connecticut on June 1, 2011 and is the first woman to hold that position, has a lot to deal with running a university of multiple campuses, more than 28,000 students, and a total operating budget of approximately $1.4 billion. But sports teams in colleges often create most of a college's press and require complicated decisions. So Susan is faced with questions about which conference UConn should play in which will impact the students' travel times and schedules. UConn is known for its women's teams who almost never disappoint like the champions they are. Read more about the conference choices on usatoday.com.
In an effort to to grow women's golf participation, the PGA of America hired Donna Orender as a consultant to lead Golf 2.0's "Connecting with Her" strategy. Donna had been the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) President from 2005-10. The "Connecting with Her" Initiative is meant to "identify and shape female-specific programming; and create a welcoming environment for more women to enter the game". Read more about it on pga.com.
The Harlem Globetrotters appointed Michelle Henning as the team’s new Vice President, Partnership Marketing and Sales. Michelle had been with The Times Square Alliance, developing their sponsorship program for events as the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Broadway on Broadway. Read more in the Business Wire press release.
The U.S. Women's Soccer Team beat France 3 - 1 and will play in the World Cup Finals this weekend! Abby Wambach (pictured) continues to score at just the right time and now the team is ready to bring home the World Cup. Read about the team and see some great pictures on washingtonpost.com.
Update: U.S. played a great game, but Japan eventually won the World Cup. The great thing about sports is - there's always another game down the road!
The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame will host its 13th annual Induction this weekend June 10-11 in Knoxville, TN. The Class of 2011 includes Val Ackerman, Ruthie Bolton, Vicky Bullett, Muffet McGraw (pictured), Pearl Moore, and Lometa Odom. Muffet McGraw, the Head Coach of the Notre Dame women's basketball program since 1987, has a great record , including a 100-percent graduation rate for all players. Val Ackerman was the first WNBA President and had been four-year starter for the University of Virginia women’s basketball team and a two-time Academic All-American. Ruthie Bolton played in the WNBA from 1997 through 2004 with the Sacramento Monarchs. Vicky Bullett played for the Charlotte Sting and Washington Mystics in the WNBA, after a successful college career at University of Maryland. Pearl Moore played college basketball at Francis Marion and led her team to three AIAW national tournament appearances. Lometa Odom was a four-time all-American at Wayland Baptist. Congratulations to all these amazing women.
Congrats to new kids sunglasses startup Babiators for making the Newsweek Summer Shopping List of must haves for summer fun, whether you're heading for the pool or for the golf course! Babiators’ lenses offer 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays to protect the eyes of young children. After such a dreay winter and spring, let's hope the sun shines all summer. Check it out on newsweek.com.
"Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports" is part of a yearlong initiative to highlight ways in which the U.S. Department of State’s international exchanges can empower society, especially women and girls. In anticipation of Women’s World Cup and the kick-off to the 40th anniversary year of Title IX, the U.S. Department of State launched a series of international soccer exchanges to highlight the value of sports in empowering women and girls. Female soccer players and their coaches from foreign countries came to the United States through the Sports Visitors Program for a 10-day exchange. Also, U.S. Athletes travelled overseas as "Sports Envoys" to teach clinics in their sport. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ International Visitor Leadership Program also had a 10-day international exchange program for six sports management professionals, examining how athletic programs for women and girls promote leadership, teamwork, respect, self awareness and life skills. Read more about these programs in the Department of State press release.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of America appointed Casey Coffman to its national Board of Directors. Casey is Executive Vice President of Business Development and Operations for Madison Square Garden Sports (MSG), responsible for the daily operational needs for the business, including the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, and New York Liberty. Before that, Casey was with Hicks Holdings LLC and Hicks Sports Group LLC, and served as chief operating officer. Read more in the prnewswire press release.
The WNBA appointed Laurel J. Richie President of the WNBA. Laurel, who has extensive experience in building brands and producing business results, had been Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Girl Scouts of the USA. The women's basketball league will start it 15th season this summer. Read more in the WNBA announcement.
Amanda Rykoff writes about the women in sports behind the games in her article on espnW, in particular the Women in Sports And Events (WISE) 2011 Women Of the Year honorees. These include Stacey Allaster (pictured), Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Women's Tennis Association (WTA); Lisa Baird, Chief Marketing Officer, United States Olympic Committee (USOC); and Wendy Lewis, Senior Vice President of Diversity & Strategic Alliances, Major League Baseball. Read what Amanda has to say in her article about these women behind the games.
An aspiring sports journalist looked to the Super Bowl to see what contributions women would make and found that they got only a few minutes of air time. Young women who want to have sports reporting careers can see that women are being kept on the sidelines. If a highschool student is feeling a lack of opportunity, than we really need to do something. Read this amazing story on cincinnati.com written by Chelsea Fricker, a high school student who hopes to be a sports journalist. It's such a great article - and so beautifully written. The NFL should definitely hire her!
The Harlem Globetrotters appointed Angela Leaney as Executive Vice President, Brand Marketing. Angela had been Chief Marketing Officer of Newsweek, and before that was Senior Vice President at Nickelodeon. Read more in the Business Wire press release.
In an effort to offer opportunities to young and determined women, MWW Group, the public relations firms, has created an offseason intership program for WNBA athletes. The national program provides WNBA players with experience in consumer lifestyle marketing, social media and digital marketing, corporate communications, healthcare and nutrition, media strategies, sports marketing and public affairs. New York Liberty guard/forward Nicole Powell, a graduate of Stanford University, is the first WNBA player to join the MWW Group team, beginning an internship this October in the firm's New York office. Read more about the program in the prnewswire press release.
Megan Hueter, of WomenTalkSports.com, believes that espnW, the upcoming ESPN sports site for women, is a good thing. As I have discussed before, women athletes should get more press coverage which is why I started the NewsonWomen.com "Top Women Athletes" List, so everyone can learn more about women in all sports. ESPN is focusing on women athletes in a new way, but is moving women to a separate page the right thing to do? Read Megan's opinion. What do you think?
Katie O'Donnell, the University of Maryland field hockey player, was named the Women's Sports Foundation "Sportswoman of the Year" in a team sport. Read about Katie and the other winners on womenssportsfoundation.org.