WISE Up: Winning strategies for game day and beyond

FEBRUARY 5, 2024

Below: how the NFL's head of social responsibility preps for the big event

Photo: WISE Indianapolis chapter

Dear WISE community,


So many of you made new connections at our Virtual Speed Mentoring Roundtables. It's inspiring! As WISE Dallas-Forth Worth president Carrie Potter summed it up: "WISE creates a safe place for honest conversations to happen organically, which makes this event incredibly valuable. I'm already looking forward to next year's SMR!"


International travel prevented me from participating in this year's event, so I'll add my advice for mentees here: Investing in one's own career is not about waiting to be asked, it's about making the ask. What does that look like? Maybe it's raising your hand for a stretch assignment at work, or to learn a new skill. Or maybe it's attending a professional development program, or challenging yourself to meet people outside your circle. I loved it when, , Lindsay Hall said that she sought out a mentee through because she didn't have direct reports and wanted to fill that void.


Which brings me to our upcoming WISE/R Symposium on Monday, March 18. We see it as a day to step away from your regular routine, focus on personal and professional growth, and network with your peers — in short, a day that can truly change the course of your career. See the lineup of speakers .


The following day, at our annual luncheon, we're celebrating four incredible women who have not only risen to the top of the industry but have consistently helped and supported other women up the ladder as well. I hope to see many of you there.


In the meantime, I'm thrilled to be able to connect with you here.


Kathleen Francis

Chair and President

One-Question Quiz: Super Bowl Halftime Edition


Several singers have performed on Super Sundays, but only two (one female, one male) have commanded center stage three times. Who are they? Answer at bottom.

The WISE Interview

NFL SVP Anna Isaacson

Photo: Anna Isaacson

To celebrate Super Bowl LVIII, which will be played in Las Vegas on Sunday, we asked , who oversees social responsibility efforts at the National Football League, to open a window onto her work.


On what "social responsibility" means at the NFL: "The question is always: How can we use our platform to help and inspire? The public has high expectations of leagues like ours: They expect us to take a stand where it matters. So we're constantly assessing which concerns are top of mind in the culture and getting involved."


On prepping for the Super Bowl: "The Super Bowl experience is a chance for us to shine a light on so many of the causes the NFL cares about. This year, we're partnering with the incredible Las Vegas-Clark County Library District and Barbershop Books, a non-profit that brings books into barbershops to foster love of reading in underserved communities. We're also planning events around military appreciation, as well as appreciation of those that work in the domestic violence and sexual assault field, and so much more. Our intent is to leave behind social legacies that endure long after the game."


On what comes next: "In advance of the 2024 election, we'll be focusing on civic engagement — educating people about the voting process, registration, etc. We'll have veterans stationed at games, teaching people about the voting process. Who better to teach about being civically involved?"


On dealing with criticism: "I firmly believe that you can't please all the people all the time. But when we get flack for our handling of complex social issues, we approach those moments with self-reflection and humility. We double down on our decision-making process, which is intentionally inclusive. That means making sure there's a diverse set of people at the table weighing in. Ultimately, we stick to our commitments, whether or not they're the cause du jour."


On mentoring: "Transparency is my North Star, both in providing candid feedback and advocating for junior colleagues. When a mentee was interested in an internal job change, for instance, I asked leadership for an honest assessment of his chances before he began the application process — an easy way to spare him potentially needless hassle."

Let's Go! Women on the Move

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Worth the Click

Bucking the trend: (WSJ gift link)


The latest in arena development: (SBJ, paywall). And while we're on the subject: (CNN)


A look before you leap: (The Atlantic)


And don't miss this most delightful read: (NYT gift link)

Trend Tracking: Funflation

During WISE/R LA, leaders from AEG, American Express, and the Crypto.com Arena discussed evolving audience expectations for live events. In short, people are now looking to be part of . The latest evidence is the record-high prices for Super Bowl tickets on the secondary market. Among the price-hiking factors: Vegas, baby! The stars are a big draw, too — .


And speaking of, it was women who actually dominated the thriving events economy last year. A highlighted the incredible draw of female entertainers, the growing interest in women's sports, and, yes, Ms. Swift's impact on the NFL. In fact, the Super Bowl notwithstanding, that do not feature female athletes.

From the

New York, New York (On-site)

Work to accelerate the current momentum of flag football, further establishing it as a transformative domestic and global sport and significantly growing both participation and fanbase. In this position, you'll sit at the very center of strategic planning, prioritization, and project management.

Mark Your Calendar: National Events

for our annual celebration and get-together. This year's honorees: Ayala Deutsch, executive vice president and deputy general counsel, NBA; Kate Johnson, director and head of global sports and entertainment marketing, Google; Michele Kajiwara, senior vice president, premium and events business, Crypto.com Arena and Peacock Theater; and Renee Chube Washington, chief operating officer, USA Track & Field.

This accelerator for female execs in sports focuses on the industry's investment in analytics and its diverse and practical applications. Request an invitation . Held in Boston on February 29 in partnership with the Wasserman Foundation and the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Presented by FanDuel.

Join fellow WISE members in sessions focused on personal and professional development, from the latest in communication tools to the best use of analytics to the rising power of women's sports. See the schedule . now, before the event sells out.


One-Question Quiz Answer


Gloria Estefan (1992, '95, '99) and Justin Timberlake (2001, '04, '18). Trumpeter/bandleader Al Hirt holds the individual non-singing record, with four (1967, '70, '72, '78), while the Grambling State University Marching Band claims group appearance honors, with six (1967, '68, '75, '80, '87, '98).

We'd Love to Hear From You! Ideas for WISE Up? New job? Just want to say hello? Email us.