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Erin Andrews: A Strong Woman in a Male-dominated Field

How a woman defies gender roles and follows her dream

By Jordyn Turpitt

My goal has always been to be in sports marketing, but I never really thought I could do it because I only ever saw male reporters and announcers at games when I was growing up. Although things have started to change and progress, the industry of sports marketing is still predominately male. Erin Andrews is one of a few successful females in this industry. As a woman who worked her way from sports reporter at the local news station to a sideline reporter for Fox Sports, Andrews shows that women can be capable and powerful sports reporters, which is inspiring to me. Her unique approach delivers a new point of view to sports reporting, and her dedication and tenacity are an exemplary demonstration of qualities that all journalists should strive to display.

A unique approach

Andrews reports on the sidelines at Tampa Bay.

Andrews reports on the sidelines at Tampa Bay

As a reporter, Andrews doesn’t just drill questions at these athletes, but acts as if she is their friend and talks to them conversationally. This shows that she sees their side of things and knows that sometimes these athletes don’t want to get grilled after a long game. She tries to make it fun for them and also entertaining for the viewers as she gets the athletes’ personalities to show on screen. This sets her apart from other reporters because most of the time you can tell that these athletes aren’t interested. The reporters aren’t making it fun for them, so they don’t want to talk. As a future journalist/PR professional, I truly admire this technique because I don’t want to watch an interview where the person is disinterested and neither do other viewers.

Relentless dedication

Andrews stands on the sideline with her biggest career inspiration: her father.

Andrews’ father was a broadcast journalist, and they shared a close bond from their love for sports. She grew up watching different sports, with football being a particular favorite. She saw what her dad did in the industry and watched female reporters growing up, but her main inspiration was her dad. Andrews started at the bottom of the food chain when she was a freelance reporter for Fox Sports Florida. After a few years of proving herself as a reporter, she moved choice into ESPN and eventually Fox Sports again. In 2014, she became the number one sideline reporter for NFL games on Fox Sports. That is a huge accomplishment, especially with her being a female in the sports industry. This shows her drive and dedication to work hard in the industry and ultimately follow her dream of being in sports broadcasting.

Bravery in the face of adversity

Andrews went into a career field despite knowing that she is a gender minority, which is extraordinary. It shows that, no matter how big the obstacles are, she is going to continue to push through them to pursue her career interests and dreams. This is the biggest quality I admire about her because I am a female that loves sports, and it’s a dream of mine to be in the sports PR industry. I know that it will be hard because things will not be in my favor due to my gender and a lot of people may doubt me as they doubted Andrews at the start of her career. More pressure is put on female sports broadcasters based on their gender and stigmas that come along with it. This makes them feel like they need to prove themselves. One simple mistake, such as mispronouncing a player’s name can lead them to doubt their own confidence at best and lose their contract at worst. Andrews didn’t get her contract renewed at TBS, but she kept persevering and learning from her mistakes which got her the opportunity at ESPN. Then, she went on to become the number one sideline reporter in the NFL.

Andrews came a long way from the start of her career, and her work shows that she isn’t going to let one thing get her down. She’s going to keep trying until she reaches her goals, which is a quality that I deeply admire. In my career, I hope to learn from her lesson and take her dedication and tenacity into the field to become the best sports PR professional I possibly can.


About the Author: Jordyn Turpitt is a new sports PR professional in the DFW area. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/public relations and minor in Sociology at the University of North Texas.

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