Women in sport are riding a wave of public interest following the Rugby World Cup in 2021 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023. Marketer Ally Mayerhofler is kickstarting her career by tackling a different side of the women’s game: sports marketing.
Ally (Te Rarawa (Panguru) and Te Arawa) graduated from AUT with a degree in Communications which she took up for her love for social media.
Despite not knowing what type of marketing she wanted to get into, Ally jumped at the chance when presented with a scholarship opportunity from well-respected PR agency Undertow Media.
The scholarship focused on providing Māori and Pasifika students (who are underrepresented in the industry) an opportunity to launch their careers through exciting internships.
For her internship, Ally was plunged straight into the world of sports marketing, working during the Rugby World Cup staged in New Zealand in 2022 where she was a content specialist assigned to cover a team.
“I was lucky enough to get the USA Women’s Rugby team and produced content that went up on their social channels,” says Ally.
She was around the USA team 24/7 during their time in New Zealand, making content as she followed them to training sessions, dinners and more.
“I think the biggest thing I took out of it was the relationships that I made with those ladies. I think sports is a hugely rewarding job to have so when they win, you win. And I think it’s being able to tell their personal stories as well,” adds Ally.
“Building those relationships quite quickly, but also having those relationships that are really trusting when they’re able to open up about their personal lives, I think there needs to be more light on women athletes.”
Ally says her Māori heritage has helped her in her work to bring creativity to marketing and public relations, skills she believes other Māori and Pasifika marketers can bring to the industry.
“Public relations is all about building relationships with media, and Māori and Pasifika, they know how to do that. We’re brought up around that,” she says.
“We have a really good knack for storytelling and that’s really big, especially in the sports industry. When you’re working with a team, you want to be able to share their stories and for people to engage in content like that. When you can humanise athletes, it really helps.”
Working on a large scale event such as the Rugby World Cup, Ally found herself falling in love with
the industry, and following the end of her internship, she is set on sticking to sports marketing.
Ally is contracted to work with the Northern Mystics for their upcoming season, hoping to bring of their on-court flair and unique style to their social media presence.
“It’s a lot of differing personalities, but being able to portray that on social media has been an awesome thing for me.”
With the rise of women in sports across the world, Ally says she is not limited to any sport and loves the team setting where she can thrive and build those relationships.
She says the Undertow and AUT scholarship will continue help to give young Māori and Pasifika women an opportunity in the PR industry, giving them a voice and perspective in the room.
This article was originally published in the June/July 2023 issue of NZ Marketing. Click here to subscribe.