Gina Miller VP of Media and Communication at FC Dallas Joins the Podcast to Discuss the Growth of Women in the Sports Industry, the Changing Media Landscape and Being Nimble
Hi Everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports Podcast.
I realize this may come off a little cheesy, but I’m feeling very inspired by all of you. As you’ve probably heard me mention, we started a private facebook group just a week or two ago, and the people that have joined in the discussion are connectors.
They are talking, sharing, networking and I sit back and think – man, this is powerful. You’ve got students from Florida State talking sports management programs with students at Northwestern. Military vets asking questions and sharing their story with senior executives.
This all gets me back to opportunity.
You have so many opportunities to learn and network today – it’s on you to go grab those chances. If you sit back and wait, you are falling behind. I spoke to a class at Lindenwood University last week and I stressed you have so many opportunities to learn outside of your traditional classroom, you have so many opportunities to network outside of just conferences. It’s up to you to take advantage of them.
That said – as the great John Wooden said, ‘never mistake activity for achievement.’
Be focused in your activity, have purpose and direction. Don’t just run around doing a lot at a superficial level, have a plan! Go deep.
You want to go deep? How’s this for a powerful activity:
Let’s say you want to work in sports marketing. You’ve taken the classes, passed the tests, done the required internships… or maybe you’ve done more than that, great, bonus points.
But do you really know what employers want outside of your bubble?
You may be well versed in what the companies within commuting distance of your current area want, but do you really know the macro business? No, I’d argue you don’t.
So here’s how to do it – without going on a nationwide excursion – log on to work in sports and conduct a keyword search. Search for marketing – I’m doing this as I speak – there are currently 1,539 marketing jobs on WorkinSports.
Now what you want to do is start looking at the job titles – see a job that looks interesting, click inside, write down the required skills. Move on to the next job, do that same. Don’t care about location…all you are looking for is need and requirements.
Look through 25 jobs… which is easy since we have 1,539! -- and see the patterns. What skills do most employers in sports marketing need? Do you have them? If not, now you make a plan. See it’s not just activity…it’s not just looking at the jobs, it’s creating an action plan for yourself.
I’m all worked up. You see I didn’t do any of this when I was first starting out. I got lucky. You can’t do that today. It’s harder than it was.
You need to know where the sports jobs are, who is hiring, what they need and be ready to blow someone’s socks off because if you don’t someone else will.
This weeks guest Gina Miller, now there’s a lady that never sat back for anything. She’s the VP of Media and Communication for FC Dallas. As you’ll soon hear, Gina knew what she wanted and went for it.
She is so connected. We were chatting before the interview and she knows and has connected with so many people on so many levels. You know why…she’s smart, she’s personable and she’s genuine. Those attributes matter when you are trying to build a personal brand in this industry.
Sports are a global industry but it’s a small world out there. It’s all interconnected.
What I find fascinating about Gina’s story is her career transition, having spent nearly 20 years in the sports media, in both Dallas and Los Angeles and then transitioning seamlessly into the executive suite of a major professional sports team.
Gina has great guidance for anyone who wants to advance in their sports career at any level – she’s inspiring and passionate, so enough from me, let’s hear from Gina Miller, VP of Media and Communication for FC Dallas.
Questions for Gina Miller, VP of Media and Communication FC Dallas
1: There are only 6 female athletic directors in D1 college sports. In the sports media, we so often see women relegated to the role of sideline reporter. Outside of Amy Trask and Kim Hg there have been very few high-profile female executives in the 4 major sports.
What advice would you give to a young woman who is passionate, excited and knowledgeable about sports… but doesn’t have too many role models to emulate?
2: In your honest opinion, do you feel like things are changing for women in sports?
3: Your career has always been on the sports journalism side, having worked as a anchor, reporter and most notably as the host of Cowboys Special Edition with Jerry Jones for 15 years -- in the sports media, do you feel women are often marginalized in terms of opportunity – all to often relegated to sideline reporting jobs?
4: We have a private facebook group for fans of the podcast, and before each interview I ask this group – what would you like me to ask my upcoming guest – I received two very good questions this week. First is from Carson Mason from University of South Carolina – Carson wanted to know about your overall career path, specifically, what things did you do early on to prepare her for her current position? And any advice for college students seeking a career in sports media/communications would be great.
5: The next question comes from Kelsey Smith who is in the Masters program at University of South Florida – Kelsey wants to know since you worked for the Dallas Cowboys, one of the biggest brands in all of sports, and now for FC Dallas an emerging team in an emerging league – how different are the experiences?
6: In today’s sports media world, how do you capture attention in an audience that has so many options and avenues to choose from?
7: It seems the focus nowadays is on “how can I get something to go viral!” and I tend to go the opposite direction, I think you find a good story and tell it well, people will enjoy it, focus on the product not the result. In your experience, what makes a good story?
8: You’re in more of an executive role now, but you are still in front of the camera as a storyteller and brand advocate for FC Dallas – a dual threat so to say – what have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced taking on responsibilities like public relations, strategic communications and all the things that go into being a Vice President at a major sports organization?
1: Looking back on your career, what’s the story you are most proud of?
2: Do you think the MLS could surpass the NHL and become one of the big four sports in the US?
3: A local Pennsylvania Brewery made a beer called – “Dallas Sucks” – from your years with the cowboys you know how crazy the fans are in the NFC East – would you say it’s the best division in sports?
4: The schedule when you work in sports can be grueling – what do you like to do to decompress?
5: If a young woman came up to you today and said “I want to be the commissioner of the NFL some day” what advice would you give her?
Thank you Gina Miller!