I had the amazing opportunity to interview Madeleine McCarty. Madeleine is a social media manager at BAUER hockey. She oversees the content and strategy for all social media platforms that BAUER is on.
Madeleine has a lot of experience working in social media. She started her career as an intern with Kroenke Sports and Entertainment for the Colorado Avalanche as a Game Night Social Media intern. From there she was brought on full-time and was there for just over 5 years and by then she had made her way up to Senior Manager of Social Media and Digital Content. Madeleine was also lucky enough to cover the team winning the Stanley Cup alongside an incredible digital media team! After winning the cup, an opportunity came up to work with BAUER Hockey the next fall. Though it was a tough choice to make, it was an exciting opportunity and she ended up accepting the role.
Madeleine had a fascination with social media early on in life. In 2016 she did an internship at Disney World and through a networking opportunity she found out social media could be a full-time job. After returning to school she started reaching out to anyone in her network so she could learn as much as possible about social media as a career. This connected her to several people in sports and led to her getting an invitation for what was later her first internship in the field.
Of course, working in sports you also have to enjoy them as well. Madeleine’s introduction to sports was her dad. He played football for the University of Colorado and even met her mom when he was playing in the Blue-Grey game. Her father also introduced her to hockey which led to it quickly becoming her favorite sport.
To get where she is now Madeleine was a marketing major and also received two certificates. The first was the Business of Sports from CU Boulder, and the second was Technology, Arts, and Media- also from CU Boulder. She also has the amazing opportunity to do a summer study-abroad program. Madeleine started her schooling at Baylor and was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority there. After that, she did her internship at Walt Disney World in Florida before transferring to the University of Colorado which is where she completed her degree.
Outside of schooling, Madeleine has done many things to further help in her career. Some of the things she has done include: staying up to date on social media platforms and trends by being a part of it regularly herself, and joining the Women In Leadership advisory program at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. She also gets to learn from leaders across various industries and sharpen her soft skills and likes to take any opportunity to grow her network! She also loves to learn from organizations like Black Girl Hockey Club and volunteers as a mentor as well as gains a lot of insight as a Caucasian woman into things she wouldn’t otherwise know without getting uncomfortable and learning more about the joys and struggles of black women in the sport she loves. Madeleine also mentioned that there are endless opportunities to keep going and growing without needing to pursue continuing education.
When asked about what skills and qualities are important to be successful in this job she said, “Sports are inherently relational. Teams are built on good chemistry after all! The business side is no different. It’s important to know how to work with lots of different people AND stand up for yourself at the same time- And that can be done! Aside from being able to manage relationships, in social media specifically I think a base knowledge of Adobe software is helpful, excel/spreadsheets, understanding analytics, and staying on top of trends is really important.”
Just like any job, there are of course ups and downs doing the job she does. Madeleine said her favorite part of her job was the community, “The same way women and girls of all ages made bracelets to trade at Taylor Swift concerts. Sports bring people together. They cheer together and moan and groan in loss. But it has the power to unite. And it should be for everyone. There are a lot of opportunities to grow the accessibility of sport overall but it is something with so much potential.”
Madeleine loves her job but the two less favorable things that stand out are: “The high burnout rate in the industry and the little reminders that it is not a space that fully embraces women (or any minorities for that matter.)” She’s experienced so many people get wrecked by lots of long hours and high demands, “It’s an industry that pays a lot lower for roles than their counterparts, which makes it really hard to break into unless you’re in the right place at the right time (or have the right amount of privilege.) It’s why I’m really passionate about meeting with students and telling them that they HAVE to advocate for themselves. There are also several times where the space can feel like a 'boys club.' I can think of countless examples where reporters have said off hand comments, or 'locker room' talk was considered acceptable. And that can be disheartening. But not all spaces are toxic, and looking for the good people in the times that are hard ahead taught me so much.”
When asked what it is like being a woman in sports Madeleine said, “It’s an honor, and it’s a family. The community of women uplifting other women only exists as long as we can all be there for one another. I am so thankful I have women who got me into this space and who I can look up to- and I hope to do the same for others.”
Some tips Madeleine had for women wanting to pursue a job in this field were, “Do not be afraid to speak up or take up space. You belong here, you deserve a say just as much as the person next to you. And sport is better with you in it. And once you get through that door and land a job, help others. Volunteer at your campus or give back to help other women or minorities be in the space you wanted to be in. We’re only better together!”
There are a couple of women that Madeleine stated she looked up to, stating “I wouldn’t be where I am without Emily Wade, now Digital Marketing Manager for the Rochester Americans (and other groups). She not only hired me into my first role, but also taught me what it meant to be confident in that space. I also sincerely look up to Mary-Kay Messier, VP of Global Marketing at BAUER Hockey. She is an advocate for growing the game and is incredibly brilliant. I’m incredibly lucky to work with her and learn from her every day.”
Some last thoughts Madeleine had for the readers were, “You are more than your job. It’s a blessing to love what you do, and even more so when sharing it with others is also fun! But don’t lose yourself to any role. The team you work for or the title you have comes second to who you are as a person.”