It’s no secret that the sports industry is inundated with males, but that didn’t keep Tracy Sandler from following her passion for sports and enter the business. Now, as the woman behind Fangirl Sports Network, she’s creating the ultimate place for female sports fans everywhere. From lifestyle tips like halftime workouts and team themed cocktails (remember this football & fajitas party?!) to industry updates and cute team merch, the network is providing a much needed resource for women who love sports. Below, she speaks to how she built the brand and is expanding it rapidly!
Ok, let’s start from the beginning. What did you want to be when you grew up, and what was your first job?
My dream job growing up was to be the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, but after I realized that might not happen, I wanted to work in sports broadcasting. My first job was helping behind-the-scenes at FOX Sports.
When did you decide to launch Fangirl Sports Network?
I launched Fangirl Sports Network in 2015 as 49ers Fangirls to cover the San Francisco 49ers. I expanded to Fangirl Sports Network in 2016 when I added Rams Fangirl. In just two short years we now have 23 Fangirls covering the NBA and NFL.
The sports industry is obviously male dominated. How did that play into any struggles you had, or still have breaking into the space?
I’ve been incredibly lucky. Even though the sports industry is male-dominated, Fangirl has been embraced and supported by some incredible men within the industry. Of course, I have run into the occasional ‘man-splaining’ or eye roll at what we are trying to create, but for the most part, my experiences have been positive.
Tell us about this amazing community you’ve created as a go-to space for female sports fans! How has it grown and what do you attribute that to?
What began as just one woman covering the 49ers, has now turned into an entire network of women, and by the end of 2018 we will have 62 Fangirls. My company has grown through the hard work of an incredible team at FGSN, and an incredible team of Fangirls who have really connected with their followers.
All of the Fangirls cover on a team level, sharing the latest news updates through Twitter and Facebook, while we are able to share more of the Fangirl lifestyle on Instagram. Fan communities are provided with unique insight from women who love sports, and who also embrace their femininity. The women of FGSN support one another and help each other endlessly, and we are all about making sure women have their place not only in the sports industry, but across all industries.
We love all of your tips, sportswear, and party ideas! What do you find is most important or valuable to your audience?
Our audience really enjoys our segments on cute and flattering team gear, as well as our recipes and halftime workouts. For us, the Fangirl lifestyle plays an equally important role as the game itself, so we want to provide healthier recipes, team-themed drinks and decorating tips, and style tips. It’s all part of the experience of being a sports fan.
The network currently covers all 8 NFL teams across the AFC and NFC West and 15 NBA teams. What’s next?! Are you working on any upcoming projects we can be on the lookout for?
Yes! This fall, we will have a Fangirl for all 32 NFL teams and will be launching merchandising and live events. It’s a very exciting time!
Where do you see Fangirl Sports Network in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see FGSN as the go-to sports network for the female fan – a place where she will not only get coverage and insight of her favorite NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL teams, but also where she will find helpful and curated lifestyle tips that she can take anywhere.
What’s your best advice for entrepreneurs looking to start something of their own?
My best piece of advice is to have a thick skin and be open to constructive criticism. No one can do everything and no one knows everything, so surround yourself with a trustworthy team of people who understand your vision and support your end goal. Also, listen to advice and feedback, but trust your gut.
Dream Superbowl Match Up:
If you could live anywhere: