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What Role Are Women Executives Playing In Detroit Sports?

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Image credit: Michael Ference

Detroit women are shattering the glass ceiling, one sports team at a time

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The coaches and general managers are in charge of the players. These two Detroit sports executives are in charge of the fans’ experiences and the teams’ community outreach efforts. 

Two of the top women in Detroit’s professional sports franchises join Detroit Today guest host Sandra Svoboda to talk about what, if any, special challenges women face in the sports industry, and they preview where the Lions and Tigers are headed. Ellen Hill Zeringue is vice president of marketing for the Detroit Tigers, and Elizabeth Parkinson is senior vice president of marketing and partnerships for the Detroit Lions

Some of the key points from the conversation are:

  • Perception of opportunity.  There is a long-standing belief that it is difficult for women to make it in sports related fields, but Zeringue and Parkinson agree that there are many opportunities for women in sports business.  
  • Women play key roles in the business side of Detroit sports.  Common sense, communication, and a keen understanding of the community are important skills for their marketing teams.  
  • Community connection and accessibility.  Zeringue and Parkinson emphasize that sports should be accessible to Detroit area families, and that they work to make games affordable.  They say both teams are committed to the city of Detroit and have stuck by Detroit through tough times, such as with the “Always a Tiger” and “One Detroit. One Pride.” campaigns.
  • Team optimism and fan experience.  Both executives are optimistic about their teams’ prospects, and say that they strive to provide fans with a positive experience and good memories.

Hear the full conversation by clicking the audio link above.



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