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Volume 22 No. 32
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Forty Under 40: Amanda Herald

Photo: eric espino / nfl

Amanda Herald is like the football star who almost didn’t make the team, only securing a spot because someone dropped off the roster at the last minute and then showing the club what it almost missed.

Vice President, Media Strategy and Business Development, National Football League

Age: 31

Born: Miami

Education: University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, B.S., economics

Family: Husband, Luke Steinberger

You wish you knew 10 years ago: Most people view mentoring as a pleasure rather than a burden.

Profession you’d most like to attempt: Travel blogger.

Guilty pleasure: Champagne.

Something your friends would consider “so you”: Making 3+ reservations for one dinner.

You could not go a day without: My pup Austin.

Cause supported: CARE Elementary School in Miami.

Person in the industry you’d most like to meet: Serena Williams.

Sports industry needs to do a better job of … : Inclusion in the boardroom.

Most thrilling/adventurous thing you’ve done: Scuba diving the blue hole in Belize.

We’d surprised to know that … : I am in three fantasy leagues for “The Bachelor.”

Now a 10-year veteran of the NFL’s media and business strategy group, Herald is involved in all aspects of developing the league’s media and digital approach. She first got to the NFL through its junior rotational program, a two-year, full-time, entry-level management program where prospective executives rotate among three to four departments at the league. 

After then-NFL CFO Anthony Noto spoke to her University of Pennsylvania sports business class, Herald was sold and applied the next year. Up to 3,000 applicants seek a JRP slot annually and on average eight are chosen, so when the NFL turned her down, she had other options lined up. She accepted a position in marketing at American Express.

And then the NFL called.

“Someone in the [JRP] class above me dropped out so they opened another slot,” she explained. And like that, she had her foot in the door.

She’s made the most of it and is now involved in almost every major NFL media and digital deal.

As a millennial she brought a fresh perspective to how her generation consumes media, a key development for sports as leagues and teams increasingly look to distribute content on as many platforms as possible.

But even millennials age, and one way Herald keeps up is by remaining involved in the JRP program. She interviews applicants and always seeks to have one or two rotate through her group.

“We always ask, ‘What is the app you use most on your phone,’ and when we have new JRPs it is always some new answer,” she said. “It  keeps us a little bit fresh.”