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Paul Bremer: “Don’t worry about where you start; figure out where you can learn AND network”

Oftentimes, women’s sports and female athletes are left out of the sports conversation, unless it’s something negative. Coverage spikes for big events like the Women’s World Cup or Olympics but there is a lot of time with little media connection to approachable athletes who often have really dynamic and relatable life stories. Sure, most people […]

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Oftentimes, women’s sports and female athletes are left out of the sports conversation, unless it’s something negative. Coverage spikes for big events like the Women’s World Cup or Olympics but there is a lot of time with little media connection to approachable athletes who often have really dynamic and relatable life stories. Sure, most people know about superstars like Serena Williams and Megan Rapinoe, but other amazing female athletes and even professional sports leagues like the NWSL or the LGPA aren’t often on the mainstream sports fan’s radar. Not only are potential fans missing out but, importantly, more young girls lack access to role models in sports they may have an interest in playing.

GoodSport believes by illuminating female athletes and their sports, we can make a positive impact and drive societal connections. We will do so year-round in order to show the journey of worthy role models while encouraging athletic participation at any level and in any sport.


As a part of my series about sports stars who are making a social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Bremer, Founder of GoodSport.

Paul Bremer is a former digital advertising executive, “Girl Dad,” unabashed sports fan, and entrepreneur on a mission to help raise the visibility of women and girls in sports. Before founding GoodSport in 2016, Paul had a career in advertising that included a stop at NBC Olympics and was part of two startups. Paul is also a co-founding board member of The Tom Deierlein Foundation, which provides aid to children of wounded warriors and fallen heroes. He has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and lives in Connecticut with his wife and their three children.


Thank you so much for joining us Paul! Can you share with us the “backstory” that led you to your career path in the sports media industry?

Well, it helps to be a sports nut, which I have been for my entire life. Right after college, I even took all of my limited possessions to Florida for six months to work for a Single A minor league baseball team for 200 dollars per week. Years later, I was fortunate enough to be at NBCOlympics.com right when digital media was becoming mainstream, which helped me understand the power of sports storytelling. It has been a dream of mine to start my own sports content company and I was able to finally do so when we launched GoodSport in 2016.

Do you have a funny or interesting story that happened to you while covering sports over the course of your career? What lessons or takeaways did you take from that story?

My first “job” in sports was an unpaid internship at a small sports marketing firm in Baltimore. I was asked to help plan a press conference for an upcoming Olympic-style gymnastics event in town. I worked on a lot of logistics and wrote press releases, so I was excited to see the culmination of my work. On the day of the press conference, the guy who was supposed to dress up as the mascot called in sick. Well, you guessed it. I was asked to fill in. The sponsor was Reese’s, so I was lucky enough to don a full-length peanut butter cup outfit including massive orange shoes and a big round head. I thought the worst part of it would be the 100 kids who ran at me and almost knocked me over at the beginning of the press conference. I was mistaken. I made a crucial error of telling my roommates what happened, and they managed to tape the evening news, which featured me prominently fending off the throng of young tumblers. Needless to say, this still haunts me and is often brought up among my friends. Anything to get into the sports biz.

What would you advise a young person who wants to pursue a career in sports media?

Don’t worry about where you start; figure out where you can learn AND network. Study where the industry you want to be in is going and find a company that is heading that way. Unlike when I broke into the industry almost 30 years ago, it’s not necessary to go to a mega-company to gain valuable experience. Whether you go with a startup or a large corporation, be willing to do whatever it takes to get more responsibility and take every opportunity to meet people who might be able to help you later. Make a good impression before you need something.

Is there a person who made a profound impact on your outlook on life? Can you share a story?

Many people know a little bit about Bethany Hamilton, but few people realize her incredible impact on others, even at an early age. When she was a thirteen-year-old aspiring surfer, Bethany survived a shark attack. A tiger shark severed her left arm, and she lost more than 60% of blood and was in hypovolemic shock. One month later, she was back in the water learning how to surf with only one arm. Since then, she has competed with some of the best surfers in the world. Her greatest impact comes by way of her indomitable spirit and generous heart. Bethany continues to use her platform to inspire youth athletes and amputees through various organizations including her very own, Friends of Bethany.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about women and girls in sports?

Some people see female athletes on the world stage and assume they share the same rewards and lifestyles of their male counterparts. With very few exceptions, that’s just not true. In fact, in Forbes 2020 rankings of the highest paid athletes, only Naomi Osaka (29) and Serena Williams (33) cracked the top 50. If you look at the top 100 or even 500, the picture doesn’t get brighter. The USWNT has been advocating for equal pay for years. The defending Women’s World Cup champions play more games and have had more recent success, but they’re still fighting for equality. Naturally, inequality is also prevalent in media coverage, sponsorships, etc. You get the idea.

Another common myth is that girls aren’t fans or interested in playing sports. People say sports fans aren’t interested in reading about or watching women’s sports, people won’t pay for merchandise or go to live games, female athletes aren’t as talented or athletic as male athletes, and women’s sports are boring or not competitive The truth is that women, who make up half of the adult population, are huge sports fans. From a financial standpoint, the sports industry is missing out on a large amount of revenue by ignoring female fans.

Last, but certainly not least, is the idea that women’s sports receive its “fair share” of media coverage. It is estimated that media coverage for women’s sports is 4% of all sports coverage. Young girls who can see role models are naturally more interested in participating in sports and less worried about scrutiny because of negative stereotypes related to female athletes. GoodSport wants to do what we can to make sure that girls know they gain the life and leadership benefits that sports provide, even if they don’t become professional athletes. We want to celebrate and highlight female sport participation and showcase that there are many professional athletes who are successful in their game and life across many different sports and leagues.

Ok super. Let’s now move to the main part of our discussion. Can you describe the significant societal impact your organization strives to make? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you are working on right now?

Oftentimes, women’s sports and female athletes are left out of the sports conversation, unless it’s something negative. Coverage spikes for big events like the Women’s World Cup or Olympics but there is a lot of time with little media connection to approachable athletes who often have really dynamic and relatable life stories. Sure, most people know about superstars like Serena Williams and Megan Rapinoe, but other amazing female athletes and even professional sports leagues like the NWSL or the LGPA aren’t often on the mainstream sports fan’s radar. Not only are potential fans missing out but, importantly, more young girls lack access to role models in sports they may have an interest in playing.

GoodSport believes by illuminating female athletes and their sports, we can make a positive impact and drive societal connections. We will do so year-round in order to show the journey of worthy role models while encouraging athletic participation at any level and in any sport.

In June, we announced the launch of Onyx: Celebrating Black Women in Sports, which is a video podcast series hosted by Monica McNutt, MSG Network commentator and former Georgetown University basketball captain. The series expands on our mission to raise the visibility of women and girls in sports and tell the under-told stories of black female athletes, administrators, broadcasters, and other notable black women in the sports industry.

What methods are you using to most effectively share your cause with the world?

GoodSport is a media platform that creates content about women and girls in sports through articles, videos, and slideshows. We distribute our content via partnerships with like-minded media companies, leagues, and marketers.

Can you share with us the story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?

We started GoodSport in 2016 with the ambitious goal of telling positive sports stories in order to inspire young athletes and make an impact on society as a whole. We believe that sports is often one of the strongest connection points in communities, and our mission is to celebrate those who use sports as a platform for good. Sadly, most media outlets are more focused on athletes behaving badly, labor disputes, or the devastating impact of the pandemic. GoodSport continues to illuminate incredible people and organizations and their direct impact. In 2020, we decided to focus 100% of our content to raising the visibility of women and girls in sports. Our mission is to amplify the visibility of these women and shine a light on worthy role models in women’s sports who people can look up to, while helping inspire the next generation of female athletes

Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

We have been fortunate to give many young people a chance to gain their first experience in the sports industry. I will never forget when one of them, who is currently employed by an NFL team, mentioned his experience with us as an integral part of his professional development. On a semi-unrelated, semi-self-serving point, we have been fortunate to ask a number of prominent sports figures what GoodSport means to them. Their answers made us smile.

What are your 3 things “I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

I wish someone told me there were so many amazing organizations helping sports without fanfare or hype. There is an entire loosely aligned confederation of non-profit sports organizations doing amazing work on the ground. Thankfully over time, we have found some incredible partners including the Black Women in Sport Foundation and SeeHer.

I also wish someone had told me that good news travels at a different pace than salacious media can handle. We rolled out GoodSport as an idea with an ideal, but I will never forget when a fast-talking disconnected media person I was introduced to once told me “it sounds boring.” I was flattered in a weird way because we aren’t trying to ride the latest wave. We are trying to make a meaningful difference in perceptions about sports.

My third wish (insert genie joke) would be that someone told me you don’t have to go too wide with your idea. For several years, we tried to be the house band for good in the sports industry. While positive sports programming seemed nuanced to me, it was actually a fairly broad topic. Once we narrowed our focus to enter the wide niche of women’s sports, the sports ecosystem was much more receptive.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Similar to what we’re already doing at GoodSport, I would want to start a movement that spotlights the larger societal impact that female athletes are making in their community, whether that be social justice initiatives, philanthropy, or just making a difference in other people’s lives. People would be able to follow a prominent athlete’s philanthropy in one spot and learn how to get involved.

GoodSport continues to be in awe of the strong female athletes who are constantly working toward equality, especially recently. Women and female athletes have demanded a positive change in sports and society for generations, but recently more and more female athletes have brought their social activism and philanthropy to the forefront of their work. For example, four-time WNBA champion Maya Moore took two years off from her playing career to focus on criminal justice activism and freeing Jonathan Irons, a Missouri man who was wrongly convicted and served time in prison for more than 20 years. In a similar vein, WNBA stars like Renee Montgomery and Natasha Cloud decided to forgo their salaries and the shortened WNBA season to focus on social and racial justice reform. Laila Ali, the most successful competitor in women’s boxing history, has been fighting for women in sports for years and uses her platform to shine a light on issues facing young girls in sports.

Even Coco Gauff, the 16-year-old U.S. tennis sensation, has been working in her local community to spread awareness about racial violence and Black Lives Matter in recent months. She gave a powerful and inspirational speech at a rally in Florida days after George Floyd’s killing, and even cited the battles her maternal grandmother faced as a promising athlete when she became the first Black student at her high school. She ended her speech by promising to always use her platform to spread inspiration, awareness, and to fight racism.

We take notice of these women, and so many other female athletes, who are not only excellent in their sports game, but also in their communities and society — they are women who strive to make a difference and are agents and advocates for positive social change.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote?” Can you explain how that was relevant in your life?

I always go back to Nelson Mandela’s famous quote, “sport has the power to change the world.” It is especially poignant during these incredibly trying times.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Politics, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Billie Jean King is a sports icon in all regards, but not just because of her incredible athletic ability and success in professional tennis. She noticed inequality in sports early on in life and made it her mission to make a difference and open the door for other women and young girls in sports. She broke down barriers, pushing for equal prize money for men and women, helped start the Women’s Tennis Association and gain sponsorships and tennis deals, and later on founded the Women’s Sports Foundation. The Women’s Sports Foundation is an organization that GoodSport greatly admires and partners with as its mission to advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity aligns with our mission to raise the visibility and profile of women’s sports. I would love to have a nice lunch with BJK and thank her for her courage and leadership.

How can our readers follow you online?

https://www.facebook.com/GoodSport.me
https://www.instagram.com/goodsporttoday/?hl=en

Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring

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