By Lauren Court (M.S., May 2017)
Deandra Duggans (M.S. Sport Administration 2009) is the manager of advertising and branding with the Baltimore Ravens. She creates and executes marketing and advertising plans for all Ravens events and initiatives. This includes scheduling and executing television, radio and print interviews for Ravens programs, events and community initiatives. She’s had an exciting path in reaching the National Football League (NFL) and returning to her Baltimore/D.C. roots.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Duggans went to North Carolina State for college, where she discovered her passion for sports which started during an internship with the North Carolina State Women’s Basketball team. She loves being around the game and how all the different departments worked together. While originally an animal science major, she discovered a passion for sports and changed her career path. At first, she became a parks, recreation and tourism management major. From that, she learned about planning and budgeting.
After weighing different graduate school options, Duggans chose Georgia State University’s Sport Administration program. She worked as a graduate assistant in Sports Information. After, she interned at the Georgia Dome, which transitioned into her first job after graduating from the master’s program as an electronic media specialist.
The path through various jobs gave her unique experiences, made her a diverse professional in the sport industry, enabled her to think from different perspectives, and gain experience with a wide range of audiences. The biggest challenge that she has faced in the sports industry is upper mobility. The sport industry has become increasingly competitive, making it harder to find that perfect position, and once you do, you never want to leave. This makes the journey more difficult to find the job you desire.
“It makes you appreciate the grind and makes you aware that people are coming behind you, and you think about how you can nurture and help those that come behind you.”
When asked what skill sets Master’s students should have when entering the sport industry, she remarked that multiple skill sets are needed to compete in the industry.
“It’s about who can grow the business, with social media being a big part of it. Everything affects the bottom line, there’s no one particular skill set that you need, but the perfect skill set to have is to be a problem solver and be able to solve any problem that comes your way, being a critical thinker.”
Deandra has honed her skill set and found herself in a job that she loves, working for an NFL team. She attributes her experiences to help her become the professional she is today. Her final advice to the sport administration students today is to “Be open to every opportunity. We all have dreams and goals; take a different path and don’t pigeonhole yourself.”