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Navigating the Sports Business Industry

Almost everyone has or will experience imposter syndrome in their life. It is an anxiety-provoking feeling that nags at you and makes you question, “Are you good enough to be where you are?”. For Danielle Escalante, the answer to that is simple: yes.  

Danielle is a proud Ohio State alumni who graduated from the Fisher College of Business with a specialization in marketing in 2015 (the year of a National Championship, she proudly noted). She is currently the Global Brand and Consumer Marketing Senior Manager for the National Football League (NFL). As a woman in the sports business industry, she has loads of knowledge and advice to share with others regarding being successful in this field. 

Danielle’s love for the sports world is undeniable. Danielle grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and sports were always a large part of her upbringing. She played sports and watched her siblings play sports, in addition to being a big Cincinnati Bengals fan. 

She believes that, “the community that sports creates is unmatched.” People who are different in all sorts of ways are brought together to cheer on their favorite team, establishing a bond unlike anything else. Nobody is thinking about different political views or tax brackets or anything like that when their team just won the championships, or lost a huge playoff game. Just think of how it feels to be in the Shoe, cheering on the Buckeyes and the overwhelming sense of comradery in that stadium alone.

As a college student, Danielle made sure to get involved with every opportunity she had available to her, from the Columbus Marathon, to Career days, networking, and volunteering. She says that having as much experience as possible helps one stand out to internship recruiters as well as future employers. 

A main point Danielle emphasizes for being prosperous in the sports business industry is the importance of confidence. In a male-dominated field, Danielle knows that she has earned her way to where she is now. So, she shrugs off the imposter syndrome, noting that there is no need to doubt her abilities. She wants to tell other females in this field that you were hired for a reason, so do not doubt yourself. You earned a seat at the table and the right to make your voice heard.

Another aspect that a lot of people in various fields speak about is the work-life balance. For Danielle, she says the most significant way to balance work and life is by setting boundaries early on in your career. She notes that this may be difficult as an intern or someone just setting out, but it is important in making sure you are not being overworked or becoming “burnt-out”. In the sports industry, it is important to be a flexible worker, but as Danielle says, making sure that vacations, specifically, are completely work-free help her to find this balance. 

As difficult as the sports business industry can be with the long hours and long days, Danielle’s passion has never wavered, and that is something she tells other people wanting to work in this industry, “You have to have the passion for sports.” 



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