What’s it like to work in the NFL Players Association?


      In keeping with the Super Bowl theme, #Thursdaythoughts guest this week is Amanda Shank.  Amanda is a Senior Manager of Licensing and Business Development for the NFL Players Association. I have an extreme passion for football. I fell in love with the game at a very early age. My passion has only grown as I have gotten older. I am not able to put into words the life lessons I learned from playing football and will be forever grateful to the sport.

     The NFL is currently the most popular professional league in America.   What goes unrecognized in many cases, is the NFL Players Association.  This organization does a tremendous amount of work to support current and past NFL Players.  This is why I was so excited to have a few minutes with Amanda.  I was so curious as to how she got involved with the NFL PA. 

    Here we go. . . 

N.C.How did you get involved with the NFL PA? What is one thing you know now that you wish you would have known before you started?

A.S. I graduated from the University of Maryland and knew from my internships I wanted to work on the business side of sports. I applied for a position as an administrative assistant in the NFLPA’s Player Marketing department and got the job thanks in no small part to a great reference from one of my internship supervisors. I’ve now been at the NFLPA 11 years and have experienced career growth, including four promotions within Player Marketing and then transitioning to my current role as the Senior Manager of Digital and Unconventional Licensing.

If I could have known one thing before I started it would be that even if you think you have a long-term plan at 21-years-old, always be open to change. Sometimes you create your path along the way.  I never expected my career to take me where it has, and it has made me a better employee and person. My five-year plan is always evolving, and that’s a good thing.

      Key word above? INTERNSHIP.  Apply for internships and/or volunteer.  Treat it like a job. Most people get into sport business through non-paid and/or paid internships. Every job I have gotten in sports has been a result of my volunteering/intern efforts. Someone is always watching you. 

N.C. : What are 1-2 goals you have for yourself personally over the course of the next year. 

 A.S. One of my goals this year is to create more opportunities for our junior staff to demonstrate their abilities. I already know how awesome they are and how much potential they have, but it is important to me as their manager to find ways for them to shine.

 My personal goal for the year is to prioritize more time for house projects. With working and teaching, it is easy to fall into the “I’m too busy” trap. I demo-ed my guest bathroom months ago and haven’t finished the renovation yet, so that’s on my list.

    Great managers help develop employees beneath them in the organizational chart. Too many people view their co-workers as a threat. The best way to advance in your current company is to help find and/or develop your replacement.  I admire managers like Amanda, who actively seek opportunities for junior staff.    

     Work-Life balance is critical. With technology we are always connected. Great to hear Amanda is hoping to focus on her own personal goals in 2017. 

To learn more about the NFL Players Associate visit their site below.


Follow Amanda on Twitter @AmandaShank

Follow Nick on Twitter @CIPbiz1988

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