Skip links


Breaking Through: Women in Sports Are Here to Stay

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts made history in 2023 when he announced his public relations, marketing and managerial team is all female. A first in NFL history, this powerful moment was further cemented when, a few months later, the team of five women helped Hurts secure a $225 million contract with an annual salary of $51 million, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

The trailblazing women on the Hurts’ team are Nicole Lynn: agent, Jenna Malphrus: management, Rachel Everett: marketing, Chantal Romain: communications and Shakeemah Simmons-Winter: communications.

“I think what Nicole Lynn did to open the door for so many others who are going to follow in her

Photo via Sports Illustrated

footsteps is incredible,” Kristin Weissman, founder/consultant for Wing Woman Public Relations, said. “She had the courage to approach him directly, and to relate to him most likely in a way that most men would not be able to do. And to be able to say to him, ‘Hey, you feel like an underdog at this time in your career, and I am an underdog just by being a woman in this industry. We’re both hustlers, so let me show you how we can achieve this together.”

But Lynn and the four other women are not the only ones trailblazing the sports industry and helping to make a place for women in sports.

“I want to spotlight my idol in sports, Kim Davis, the senior executive vice president of the NHL. She is just so transparent, honest and empowering in everything she does,” Delaney Galbraith, CEO & founder of Girls Club, said.


Photo via Sports Business Journal

Kim Davis is the first Black woman in an executive position for the National Hockey League. Davis was appointed in 2017 and has since been steadily focused on making strides to further the progress of women in sports.

Galbraith noted, “She does it with grace but she’s also not afraid to have tough conversations, which I really appreciate in this industry. She knows that change needs to happen, and she is a game changer.”

Becky Hammon, Las Vegas Aces head coach, made history in 2020 by becoming the first female acting head coach in NBA history. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs head coach, was ejected purposefully so that Hammon would have this opportunity.

While it was a big step forward for women in sports, some believe it is not enough. “It shouldn’t take this intentional moment to get a woman to have the position of active head coach,” Brent Mitchell, assistant director of the Alabama Forensic Council and instructor at The University of Alabama, said.

Many more women are moving into larger roles in the sports industry. Kathryn Smith is the first female to hold a full-time NFL coaching staff position. Sandra Douglas Morgan is the first Black woman NFL team president. Rachel Balkovec is the first full-time woman manager in the history of Major League Baseball. Dawn Braid is the first full-time female coach in NHL history. All of these women have something in common — they are changing the game of sports for women everywhere.

The earliest hiring of the first female in any of the cases mentioned above was in 2016, only a mere eight years ago. This fact is shocking and puts into perspective the growth still needed in the industry.

“I do believe that sometimes the focus is a little bit lost because they

Photo via Ladies 1st Sports Agency

don’t realize that women are still suffering. We don’t have the proper representation, which is why my agency is female-focused,” explained Shajuanna M. Jordan, owner of Ladies 1st Sports Agency, an agency focused on representing and excelling female athletes, a first of its kind.

Women like Jordan, Lynn and many others are breaking glass ceilings and helping to ensure a future for all females who desire to work in sports. As more and more women enter this industry as athletes, coaches, athletic trainers and other roles, these trailblazers will effect more change and thus progress in the industry.

Jordan said, “I would love to see women on TV more. I would love to see them in commercials more. I would love to see them be the same influence that male athletes are. I want to them have that same opportunity.”

The goal of sports PR is to promote teams, players and organizations. Girls Club focuses on encouraging and promoting females to break into the sports industry and how to do so. Ladies 1st Sports Agency focuses on propelling female athletes to the next level. What is unique about these two organizations is they are taking a different approach to sports PR and helping to ensure females have and will always have a place in sports.

It is no secret there is room to grow all around in this industry. The optics surrounding women working in male-dominated sports is a heavily debated topic in the PR world. However, Hurts giving the five women on his public relations, marketing and managerial team this opportunity is definitely a large step in the right direction.

Return to top of page