By: Jason Stein, @JStein209
Front Office Sports is thrilled to have had the opportunity to talk with Glendalyn Junio, Marketing Coordinator for Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Glendalyn started her sports business journey while at the University of Hawaii, where she received an internship with the NFL Players Association. In her current role at CSN, Glendalyn plays a pivotal role in developing network promotions, managing brand activation during sports games and special events, and leading the network’s social media ad initiative. She also serves as the DC Chapter President of Women in Sports and Entertainment (WISE). She was pleased to offer up her time to share her journey working in sports business, the importance of getting involved early, some of the challenges women are faced with in sports, and some great insight in how to prepare to work in the industry.
Could you share how you got started on your journey working in the sports business industry and how the experience has been for you up to this point in your career?
Sports has always been a part of my life; and going into college, I had the intention of going to see if I could walk on to a sports team. I quickly realized that maybe going on and playing on the collegiate level wasn't as likely, so I went into the newspaper office, and a sports writer position was available, so I figured, why not?
It allowed me to fulfill my passion in sports So I ended up being a sports writer [at the University of Hawaii] for a few years, then the assistant sports editor, and by my senior year I was the actual sports editor for the sports section. I ended up covering all the sports on our campus and was also the football beat writer.
I still wanted to keep sports in my life. I figured that if I can't play it, I might as well write about it. I didn’t take journalism as my major; I took communications – I figured it was the best route. One of the most unique experiences that I had as a part of the newspaper, which I was fortunate [about] being at the University of Hawaii, was that the Pro-Bowl was [in Hawaii] every year. Not many media outlets spend the money to go to Hawaii, so I was fully credentialed and I got to experience that, along with being the football beat writer.
After college I was offered an internship with the NFL Players Association, so I got the opportunity to continue my passion for writing and covering sports. They extended my internship until I found a full time job, and so I applied to CSN as a communications assistant, and I got the job there.
How important was that experience you got early on while you were in college, and how critical is it for aspiring sports business professionals to get involved as soon as they can?
I think it's huge, you really put a huge value on it. My experience with the newspaper and covering all those sports was pretty much equivalent to an internship opportunity. Not only are you gaining that experience on that business professional level, but you're also expanding your network.
A lot of people there and the newspaper staff, those are people that I have kept in contact with. So if I did want to go back to Hawaii, I don't think I’d have any issues with reaching out to those people and seeing if they could help find me a job.
And it’s not only reaching out to them about job opportunities; I have a good relationship with them, I’ve continued reaching out to them and continue to see what's going on; and making sure that I appreciate every opportunity that they gave me. It really comes to that experience, and also the network that you build during those times.
How important and critical was it in your journey to have that strong network of supporters as you began your career in sports business?
I'm still definitely learning and gaining a lot of people and contacts and getting that network built up. One thing I gained from my internship was that one of my supervisors encouraged me to join WISE – Women in Sports and Events. I was extremely involved trying to get in touch with a lot of ladies and going to a lot of the events. What's great about their organization is that they provide a lot of that platform where you could network, go to these very casual meet ups and really feel comfortable to talk to a lot of these executives; and they also provide a great mentoring program.
So through my internship and with WISE, I really grew my network and ended up being on the board as a social media chair. One of the people there, who was the President recognized how dedicated I was going to these events and really networking, and eventually she asked if I wanted to become president of the chapter. She wanted to take it off her shoulders, she had been president for over ten years, and so two years ago I took over as president of WISE – Women in Sports and that has been a tremendous help, getting to meet so many women and able to contact a lot of executives from different organizations because I’m on this platform.
Through your experience with WISE and personally, what kinds of challenges have you had to deal with being a woman in sports that people need to be aware of when embarking on the journey to work in the industry?
I’ve been fortunate that there have been a lot of women who have paved the way to make it a lot easier to work in sports. There are still some notions though, that obviously this is a male dominated industry.
So I wouldn't say that I’ve had issued getting jobs because I'm a female, but when you're in the job, one of the things that you have to be conscious about is how you project yourself, probably a lot more so than a male. You have to make sure that you're not leading anybody in a provocative way, and make sure you dress in a way that is most appropriate, and I think that were judged on looks a little more. So you have to be extremely conscious of what you're wearing, because other people may think differently of your intention in how you're going to get the story, by wearing something that's distracting.
Do you feel it’s best for students and aspiring professionals to have one particular area of focus or is taking more of an open-minded approach more beneficial when starting out in the industry?
There’s two sides, so for one, if you do know that you want to do marketing, communications, P.R., or journalism focus on mastering that field first. You may not get into sports first, but focus on mastering that skill. There may be an opportunity where you'd be working on sponsorships or marketing for a different organization that's not sports related, but what you’ll find is that being able to master that field and grow your knowledge on that field will translate perfectly into the sports industry.
It really comes down to the fundamentals of that field and that expertise in that area. Even without the sports background… you can get the sports job because you’re an expert in a field.
If someone is really focused on trying to get into sports and initially not sure what field they want to really take on, I would recommend going from the bottom in ticket sales and going through the process in seeing where you want to be, and you’ll learn where you want to be in that process. A lot of teams hire internally, so learning where you want to be from the bottom is something I’d recommend.
If you had to use one word to define the sports business industry; what would that one word be and why?
Passion! You really have to be passionate about your job and people will recognize that. You have to go above and beyond in your position to be recognized. You work odd hours, you work on weekends, and you don’t necessarily get that lucrative paycheck, but if you’re passionate about your position and the company you're working for, it’s much more smooth sailing!
We would like to thank Glendalyn for her time and insight and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors!