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Saturday, June 22, 2024

The Journey: How Amanda White Hopes to Inspire Others

Amanda White is helping break glass ceilings. (Photo via Day 1 Sports)

Growing up, many of us want to pursue a career in the sports industry. There was never a question of why, but sometimes a question of if there was someone that looked like us that we could look up too.

Today, there are so many powerful women that continue to make waves in the sports world, and Director of Client Services at Day 1 Sports, Amanda White is certainly one of them.

A love for sports and family became the beginning or what would turn out to be the cornerstone to what is now her full-time job working with NFL players.

“I decided when I was about 15 years old I wanted to work in sports. That stemmed from my love of the game of football. I was sort of the “son” my dad never had (I have two sisters). My dad raised me to be a Dallas Cowboys fan early and I grew up watching every single game with him on Sundays,” White reminisced. “When I moved away for college and we weren’t able to watch games together anymore it was always tradition for my dad and I to have at least three phone calls on game days: our “pre-game” call where we’d talk football for an hour, what we predicted to happen, injury statuses, etc., another call at halftime, and then our “post-game” phone call talking about the outcome like we were a couple of NFL analysts.”

The dream became a reality, but White knew that just having a passion for the game would not be enough, she would need to network along with receiving an opportunity.

“I love the strategy of the game, the competition is much like life where working hard can get you through obstacles if you put the time and energy into being great. Internships are very competitive in this industry so when I had the chance to work for a top agency I knew I had to make the most of it,” White said looking back on her days as an intern. “I interned for agent Deryk Gilmore for six months while working a full-time job and working towards getting my MBA, which was tough, but I knew it would be worth it in the long run. During my internship, Deryk had decided to leave Priority Sports and start his own company, Day 1 Sports & Entertainment, and asked me to accept a full-time position as the Director of Client Services.”

The greatness of a position is not always the title, but the flexibility and willingness to do whatever it takes and White is taking advantage of each aspect of her position.

“When people ask me what my job entails I have a hard time putting it into words. I assist Deryk with just about everything that comes along with keeping our agency going. I do everything from helping a player or his family plan a vacation, to going over interview questions and prepping our rookies the night before the Combine and Pro Days,” said White.

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Just like every job, not everything comes easy, but at Day 1 Sports they have set a precedent of that it is a family for its employees and their clients.

“The most difficult part of my job is when one of our players faces a downfall – whether it be getting injured, being released from a team, falling in the draft, his talent not being recognized, or dealing with a personal problem at home – I feel for them and it can be frustrating. In our industry, you have to be an advisor and a smart business person but emotions get involved, especially when you see firsthand how passionate the player really is,” said White.

Working is one aspect that White has thrived at, although it hasn’t always been an easy adjustment to be a woman in football and in her own experience, there were many that had their doubts.

“What is important to me is how I’m perceived by our players and families. Women in this industry have to have such a strict level of professionalism in order to be respected and taken seriously,” White told Front Office Sports. “I handle a multitude of situations for clients and I make them all feel like they’re the most important person in the world. Sometimes it can be tricky for a woman to develop that personal relationship and friendship and get players to trust you, but at the same time make it clear that you’re about business and nothing more will transpire between you two – ever. I also make my relationship with wives and girlfriends a priority. I want them to be 100% comfortable and know I’m here for them just as much as I’m here for the guys.”

There is no question the players support White and the way she goes about her business and Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shared how their relationship has been throughout her time at Day 1 Sports.

“Amanda has been nothing but professional from the day we met her. She’s always so kind and helpful with anything we need. She’s very organized and always on top of everything! We love having her alongside Deryk and Day1 Sports,” said Evans.

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Not just Evans, but also DJ Fluker of the Seattle Seahawks shared how White is available to more than just him, but also his family.

“I’m fortunate to have Amanda on my team. I can call her at any time as can my family and she is there to help and makes the impossible effortless. Her and my man Deryk lock everything down,” said Fluker.

White has that passion to pass on to other women and girls that may be growing up and looking to her for guidance.

“Women in this business are becoming more and more common. I know of a few fantastic female agents and women working in other roles within the NFL whom I look up to and respect tremendously,” White shared. “I think these numbers are going to continue to grow over the next five years. More and more people in the business are keeping open minds and that’s something I love to see.”

In sports, we continue to see the growth of women in the industry and deservedly so and one thing White points to is the ability to learn from the ones that have gone down this path before her.

“At Day 1, it’s a family affair for sure as Deryk’s wife Camille really believes in development as well.  Camille is a powerhouse herself – Vice President of Human Resources and Global Chief Diversity Officer at Boston Scientific Corporation. She invited me to attend a women’s conference with her in Boston and it was powerful,” White shared. “It was interesting learning from other women in different industries about obstacles they’ve faced. I’m so thankful to have two great business people and all-around wonderful individuals in Deryk and Camille on my side.”

If there was one-way White could sum up what it would take to have your ambitions of joining the business in the future, it would be this.

“In a nutshell, continue to grow and surround yourself with people who support that growth and don’t limit your education to the classroom.”

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