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Celebrating National Girls & Women in Sports Day with the Panthers
Hear from some of the many women that have found careers in sports with the Panthers.
Feb 03, 2021

February 3, 2021, marks the 35th Annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day as created by the Women's Sports Foundation. The annual celebration encourages girls to play, be active and realize their full potential through the power of sport.

Tepper Sports & Entertainment employs a number of outstanding and game-changing women who have built successful careers, paving the way for future generations and serving as role models.

On this day, we aim to spotlight those women, telling their stories and celebrating their successes.

CLAIRE BURKE | CAROLINA PANTHERS, EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATOR TO THE GM/FOOTBALL OPERATIONS

Did you play sports growing up?

I played soccer and field hockey growing up. I started playing soccer when I was about five and played all throughout college. I walked onto the Wofford soccer team the spring season of my freshman year and played through my junior year. I played field hockey starting in sixth grade and played through my senior year. I was named all-state and played in a National Tournament in West Palm Beach Florida my junior year of high school.

What is a lesson you learned playing sports that you still apply in life today?

In high school, I received the opportunity to be a captain on both the soccer and field hockey teams. I learned that having the captain's band came with a lot of responsibility. It wasn't just a title, but it was an opportunity to set a standard for those around you. Being a leader (even without the "captain" title) allowed me to find ways to support and inspire those around me. Every day we, as leaders, have an opportunity to inspire and support those around us. There are challenges at every turn, but I find that working with a group that can inspire each other to be better and pick each other up when things get tough is incredibly valuable. Being a leader also means that you're never above getting in the trenches with your team and getting it done. The team atmosphere is important, especially when you know that everyone is in it and willing to do whatever it takes together.

How would you explain the value of having more women working in the sports industry?

The value of having more women in the sports industry is huge. Women are able to come at problems differently -- different emotions, different thought processes, etc. I think having more women would be an incredible asset to process streamlining and so many other facets of the industry.

What has been the most rewarding project that you've worked on at TSE?

Having the opportunity to work with the football operations group for Super Bowl 50 was an amazing experience. I was working in sponsorship at the time and was brought over to assist the football side with Super Bowl operations. The long nights and exhaustive work was overshadowed by incredible camaraderie and unforgettable memories. Obviously, we didn't have the outcome we were hoping for, but working with a group of people to get it done and having fun along the way was exactly how I will remember it.

What is your approach to dealing with adversity when you face a challenge?

Adversity can come in many forms. I think the biggest thing for me when faced with adversity is remaining confident in my abilities and remaining true to myself. You're bound to come across challenges, so knowing your strengths is important, but also being open to learning from the experience can take you a long way as well. There is always an opportunity to learn something new when faced with a challenge or difficult situation.

How do you manage the time commitment of working long hours and weekends in sports?

I've been lucky enough to work in sports since I graduated from college in 2009, so, for me, it's really just been the standard. As with anything, the time commitment sometimes has its challenges, but when you have a great group to work with, the time doesn't seem to be too much of a factor. Because of the amount of time we work, this profession gives you a unique opportunity to grow into a family outside of your home. We may bicker like brothers and sisters, but we really do enjoy working with each other and working as a team to get the job done.

If you were creating a pre-game playlist, what would be the one song that must be on it?

"Good Vibrations" -- Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Throwback? Yes. Instant mood booster? Also, yes.

JASMINE JAMES | CAROLINA PANTHERS, TICKET SALES ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Did you play sports growing up?

I played volleyball, basketball, and softball all throughout middle school and high school. I then continued softball in college.

What is a lesson you learned playing sports that you still apply in life today?

You can only get out of life what you put into it. No way can you expect the outcome to go your way if you're not putting in the time and effort.

How would you explain the value of having more women working in the sports industry?

Representation matters. If you don't see someone who looks like you in a space, it's hard to imagine yourself there. Having more women working in sports will allow young girls to know that there is a place for them in this male-dominated industry, and they too can conquer it.

What has been the most rewarding project that you've worked on at TSE?

Becoming the chair of our Black Employee Resource Group, STRIDE, was truly a reward. Creating "A Time of Understanding," which is a judgment-free space that allows TSE employees to come together and have very uncomfortable, yet necessary conversations regarding social injustice, systemic racism, being an ally, diversity and inclusion. That has been the first of many rewarding projects to come.

What is your approach to dealing with adversity when you face a challenge?

I have a group of people in my life who I call my "personal board of directors." They are individuals who I can always call on to push me, lift me up, and mentor me through whatever adversity comes my way, no matter what. Life can be hard, and we don't always have to face these challenges alone.

How do you manage the time commitment of working long hours and weekends in sports?

Balance is key. We can't give 100 percent at work unless we are taking care of ourselves first. Sometimes you just have to know when to call it a day.

If you were creating a pre-game playlist, what would be the one song that must be on it?

Anything Drake! But his song "Nice for What" is a must.

JILL COLE | CAROLINA PANTHERS, COMMUNITY RELATIONS ASSISTANT

Did you play sports growing up?

Yes…Soccer from 4th-12th grade) and track, pole vaulting and sprints in high school.

What is a lesson you learned playing sports that you still apply in life today?

The most valuable lessons I learned while playing sports were leadership, teamwork, perseverance, hard work and how to represent yourself and your team with grace even through the losses.

How would you explain the value of having more women working in the sports industry?

As a woman in sports, I have come to realize that value comes in all forms. Whether that be the stats you can reiterate, the events you can plan, the brand you create, or the impact you can have on a community. The value of a woman in sports is multifaceted. If we are going to empower women in the sports industry, we cannot encourage value based on gender.

What has been the most rewarding project that you've worked on at TSE?

Panthers Neighborhood Kitchen – While living in a time with uncertainty all around us, the 2020 season challenged us to pivot and find the best way to support those in our most vulnerable populations. The Panthers were able to partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to provide over 1,800 meals for families faced with food insecurity. This initiative provided the opportunity to support local chefs through Charlotte Black Owned – a social good company that has been highlighting local black owned businesses. Through the uncertainty, we were able to come together for one common good, each other.

What is your approach to dealing with adversity when you face a challenge?

I quickly assess the situation and sit with it, while determining changes that can be made to break out of the mold of "the way it should be."

How do you manage the time commitment working long hours and weekends in sports?

Finding a healthy balance is something I struggle with. I focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, either at the end of the day, week or season and I relish in that light with self-care, taking my dog for a walk or margaritas with friends.

If you were creating a pre-game playlist, what would be the one song that must be on it?

"My House" – Flo Rida

ANGELA DENOGEAN | CAROLINA PANTHERS, SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

Did you play sports growing up? 

Yes, I started playing tee-ball when I was 4 or 5 years old. I went on to play both school and club softball throughout high school.

What is a lesson you learned playing sports that you still apply in life today?

The biggest lesson I learned was how to communicate and work with others. It takes a team to get most things done in life, so learning how to work with others at a young age is huge. I think a big part of sports is taking responsibility and holding yourself accountable to put in the time and effort into your craft. That's applicable throughout your entire life no matter the industry you work in.

How would you explain the value of having more women working in the sports industry?

Having women on your team is invaluable. We bring a different approach to every situation whether that's content ideas, strategy or simply communicating. Representation matters and having women in the industry gives young girls a chance to see themselves in this field. While in college, I didn't see a young Latina reporter or content creator that I could relate to until my junior year. Having more women in this industry who can mentor, share experiences and are relatable could have a huge impact on someone's career. 

What has been the most rewarding project that you've worked on at TSE?

I don't really want to call out one specific project, but I'm most proud of getting through the 2020 season with this digital squad. This past year was extremely challenging for everyone, but having to be creative on a daily basis when we're stuck in quarantine was the hardest part. From a virtual draft to limited training camp to no preseason, we relied on each other to keep coming with the content and I'm extremely proud of what we were able to do.

What is your approach to dealing with adversity when you face a challenge?

I think there are many levels of adversity and they impact you differently. I try to sit back and take a deep breath for a hot second. Then come back and figure out how I can overcome this. Thankfully I have an incredible support system and coworkers that I can lean on when needed. Don't ever forget that it is always OK to ask for help!

How do you manage the time commitment working long hours and weekends in sports?

What is a work-life balance in the social world? If you've found it, please hit me up and share! I surely don't know and it's honestly something you get used to working in sports. I always point out to my family members that they usually attend games on the weekends which means that's when I'm working. You do it for the love of the game and job. I know the importance of creating boundaries and hopefully will get it together at some point.

If you were creating a pre-game playlist, what would be the one song that must be on it?

My "must-have" songs change constantly. Here are some good ones: "High Fashion" by Roddy Ricch and "Here I Am" by Rick Ross



In honor of National Girls & Women in Sports Day, Tepper Sports & Entertainment is proud to announce the creation of the Women in Sports Fellowship Program. Click here to sign up and receive more information about this upcoming opportunity.

See photos of some of the fantastic staff of Tepper Sports & Entertainment on National Girls & Women in Sports Day.

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