How Adena Andrews Wrote Her Way into the Sports Industry
Adena Andrews – Social Media Manager/General Editor at espnW
By Daphne Adebayo (M.S. May 2015)– A passion for writing led Adena Andrews to become a leader in the sport social media landscape. The Sports Administration M.S. program alum works as the Social Media Manager/General Editor at espnW, the online center for women and sports (Twitter: @espnW). Before her current position, Andrews worked in for several major players in the sport industry, including CBSSports.com, Adidas, Nike, NBA.com, and ESPN The Magazine. She has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors in their Diversity Fellowship Program and served as the Vice President of Social Media for the Sports Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists. Shape Magazine nominated her blog, AdenaAndrews.com, as one of the best for sports nuts. It is easy to see that Andrews is making an impact on the sport industry, but it began out of an eagerness to work, learn, and write.
As a freshman at the University of Southern California, Andrews began writing for local newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Sentinel. “I would go to local newspapers and say ‘Hey I go to the University of Southern California, can I write for you?’” Andrews remembered. That was all it took. She was provided the opportunity to cover basketball, even for high profile teams like the Los Angeles Lakers. After graduating from USC, she interned for ESPN The Magazine. That experience helped her land a position as a web editor at NBA.com. Unfortunately, corporate restructuring with Turner Broadcasting caused her position to be removed after just over a year with the company. “Less than a year out of my college experience I experienced my first lay off, which is really tough,” she said. “But I networked my way back into the company.”
That networking led to Andrews being named as an Interactive Producer for NBA.com in their Atlanta office. As online and social media presence became more important each year for sport media organizations, Andrews created behind the scenes content that included interviewing players, taking pictures, and writing for the website, in addition to her duties as Interactive Producer. While working in Atlanta, Andrews decided to obtain her masters degree. “I always told myself I was going to go to grad school,” she said. Working in Atlanta left her several options to continue her education, but she chose to study Sports Administration at Georgia State.
Andrews fondly remembers her time at Georgia State because of the different types of people she met in the program. “I’m from New York and went to school in Southern California. I really got immersed in southern culture”, she reflected. She learned from other students who had experience working in college athletics and the program helped her think and analyze on a more professional level. She also learned the value of time management by balancing her full-time job and studying for her M.S. classes. She also claims that since graduation she has bumped into more Panthers than she can image.
Her advice for current students in the program is to not wait until graduation to try and find a job. Students are more desirable for employers, and there are a lot of entry level positions for students to get their foot in the door that are not available once they graduate. She also advised students not to pigeonhole themselves into one sport or one field. If students stay open to different opportunities and then make an impression in those opportunities, it will open more doors for those looking to move up in the industry.
This is only the beginning for Andrews. She has interviewed LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Skylar Diggins, and Jeremy Lin. She hosts events for women looking to learn more about the sports industry, called Sports and the City. She is a prime example of how hard work combined with talent can get you to a position you truly enjoy. Follow her path on Twitter @adena_andrews and @espnW .
Fun Facts about Adena Andrews:
From: Long Island, N.Y.
Professional journalism Memberships:
National Association of Black Journalists – Vice President of Social Media for the Sports Task Force
Associated Press Sports Editors – fellow in the inaugural Diversity Fellowship program
College: University of Southern California – B.A. Print Journalism ’07
Georgia State University – M.S. Sports Administration ’11
Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc
Cookies – calls herself a cookie connoisseur
Cats – has a cat named Hershey
Working out –one of her favorite songs to work out to is Lose My Breath by Destiny’s Child
Reading – military style books and things that have to do with the government.
People watching in Union Square
Movies –any of the Marvel movies
Sports – any kind of sport ranging from cheerleading to lumber jacking