Media Mogul In The Making: Meet Alexandra Wray

Media mogul in the making, Alexandra Wray. Photo provided by Alexandra Wray.

This week’s featured media mogul in the making is sports host, writer, content creator, Alexandra Wray. When she’s not appearing in video content for the Scottsdale Titans or Goodyear Ballpark, you can find her written work on Z’s Sports Corner Blog and Sports As Told By A Girl. Get to know Alexandra and her professional journey below.

You are a multi-talented individual dipping and dapping in a bunch of other expressive fields. So, what was it about journalism or media that piqued your interest?

“What piqued my interest in the journalism field was the ability to create content on topics that I am passionate about. When I was in middle school, I knew that I wanted to excel working in sports. I initially thought that what I wanted to do was be a reporter. However, as I went through college and started developing my writing and graphic design skills, I found that I enjoy all styles of media that are correlated with sports. My hope is that when people read or watch my content, they are as passionate and energized as I was when I was creating the content. My hope is that they are able to feel my energy through my work.” 

How did you get your start in the media field? Did you study communications in college? Internships? Hobby writing?

“While pursuing my bachelors degree in Professional & Technical Communications at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I worked for multiple sports teams. My first job was an Ice Promotions Team Member with the Milwaukee Admirals Hockey Club, an American Hockey League team, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I worked with the Milwaukee Admirals throughout my entire collegiate career at UWM. While I was in my final two years at UWM,  I was blessed to receive an internship opportunity with the Northwoods League Lakeshore Chinooks Baseball team. I was a member of their webcast crew who was in charge of all the home game live broadcasts. This was a huge first step into my career in sports media/journalism. With a total of  about 36 home games, I was able to learn multiple positions like director, camera operator and webcast/graphics operator. With all the resources available to me, I was able to start creating content and practice on-camera features for my personal demo reel. After graduating in the summer of 2016, I moved to Arizona where I started my sports blog, ‘Z’s Sports Corner’. I started writing articles basically on anything I thought was a highlight of the week or on certain teams that I was most familiar with. I then progressed into wanting to work on being in front of the camera, so I began recording and editing my own recap videos and features on news happening in sports. Recently, I have developed my skills to conduct interviews with local athletes in the Phoenix area.”   

Tell us how you built up your platform. What’s your mission/goals? Who’s your audience?

“I will admit,  when I first began my career in sports,  I had little to no network, and struggled to build relationships and ask for opportunities due to my fear of being told no. However, once I moved to Arizona, I started to open up and realize that without creating a personal network of  like minded individuals I admire, it will be an incredibly lonely and hard path to grow in the sports industry. My first opportunity to grow my network in the sports field was in early 2017 , when I was hired as a Camera Operator at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear Arizona, during Spring Training for the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians. I was given the opportunity to take over the In-Game Host position half way through the season. This gave me the chance to finally get in front of the camera and gain those live shot skills in front of thousands of people. When the season ended,  I was presented the opportunity  to work all special events at the Ballpark throughout the year as their emcee. Through this I was able to build relationships with the City of Goodyear Mayor and Council as well as became more confident in public speaking.  

My network expanded greatly in the summer of 2019,  when I attended the GALvanize Bootcamp . GALvanize Bootcamp was founded and operated by FOX Sports Broadcaster, Laura Okmin. With a total of twenty girls, we spent two days together learning from each other and growing as sports reporters. Through this bootcamp, I was able to grow my network of powerful women in sports . I still stay connected with all the women I met in 2019 and this year,  I had the opportunity to meet other women who have completed GALvanize boot camps in other parts of the country and have made lasting relationships with them as well. GALvanize isn’t just a boot camp, it is more like a sisterhood, where all participants are rooting for you and congratulating you on all of your accomplishments. I feel very blessed to have found such a group and I am glad that I have stayed connected with all of them even after so much time has passed.

 My goal is to be part of a sports network or organization where I am able to make content both on and off camera. While working at a local news station I would have the opportunity to report multiple sporting events throughout the year, but with a sports organization, I would be able to build strong relationships with people throughout the team. This would allow me to share more meaningful stories on “Who” the athletes are and expand on their passions as they pursue their dreams. 

I believe that my audience consists of individuals who love sports and who understand the lingo. I also create content for the people who don’t know much about sports, but by reading my articles or watching my content, they will begin to understand and enjoy my passion for it.” 

So far throughout your career, what has been your proudest personal media moment?

“I would have to say that I felt most proud when Bria Hartley, a WNBA player for the Phoenix Mercury, liked and retweeted my article. I am a writer for ‘Sports As Told By A Girl’ and if you’re not already following them on social media, you should be. ‘Sports as Told By a Girl’, founded by Ashleigh Binder, is a sports blog written and published by women.  I wrote  an article called, “Being a Full-Time Mom and Athlete in the WNBA Wubble”, which featured rockstar moms who are not only taking care of their little ones 24 hours a day, but they are also playing in Florida for the WNBA season. When I shared the article on my twitter page, I tagged some of the women I featured in the article. One of these women, Bria Hartley, liked and retweeted my article. This was a huge boost in confidence for me because I knew that she not only read it, but she liked it enough to share it to show her followers for them to read and share as well.”

What advice would you give aspiring mediapreneurs looking to enter the field? 

“This field can be challenging when you try to follow one path to accomplish your goals. I have learned and am still learning throughout my journey, that the path is not always a straight shot to reach your goals. My advice would be to start now in creating your own path and content. People are watching you and they will start to follow and listen to you if you show them what you are passionate about. I am also a huge advocate on taking opportunities whether they scare you or not. I know I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today if I had said no because I didn’t have experience in the position. Another piece of advice is to try to find a network or mentors that build you up and that want the best for you. Having individuals to support you each step of the way in your career makes the journey worth it.” 

Stay connected with Alexandra Wray by following her on Instagram and Twitter.

The Independent Entertainment Media Coalition is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization dedicated to provided financial, educational, and professional resources for freelance media figures. Help in our efforts! To make a donation, please click HERE!

Media Mogul In The Making: Meet Ashleigh Binder

Media mogul in the making, Ashleigh Binder. Photo provided by Ashleigh Binder.

This week’s featured media mogul in the making is the founder and editor-in-chief of sports new site, Sports As Told By A Girl, Ashleigh Binder. Learn more about Ashleigh’s journey below.

You are a multi-talented individual dipping and dapping in a bunch of other expressive fields. So, what was it about journalism or media that piqued your interest?

“First of all, thank you! Honestly, I never thought of journalism as a career. I was always obsessed with the media and how celebrities and athletes were covered. I was an avid sports fan as a kid and had a major opinion about them that I wasn’t afraid to express. As a woman I was always quickly dismissed for not possibly knowing as much as men do simply because I was a female and that lit the fire!  I knew my purpose in life was to fight for equality for all women. Plus Beyoncé has a full female band and if you could be like anyone wouldn’t you chose Beyoncé?”

How did you get your start in the media field? Did you study communications in college? Internships? Hobby writing?

“I didn’t study communications until graduate school! I was a psychology major as an undergraduate student.  I always loved creative writing and always had an opinion on sports. It wasn’t until I took a class my senior year of undergrad where I even considered writing my opinion on the internet. The class required students to maintain a website and that was it. I came up with the name, Sports As Told By A Girl, within minutes of reading the directions. It was the first college class that the professor told me that I was really good at something and should keep doing it. At first I kept it as a personal blog for me to write my thoughts. However, when I graduated and realized how hard it was to get a foot in the door in sports media, I knew I wanted to expand the site. I wanted other female writers who were also looking for a safe platform to voice their honest opinions.”

Tell us how you built up your platform. What’s your mission/goals? Who’s your audience?

“My mission is to make a woman’s voice in sports a normal thing. It’s great that we’re shattering glass ceilings, but I can’t wait until a woman is hired and she’s not the first woman in the position or the first Black woman in the position. I think we are making progress towards that and I hope I am making even the smallest impact on moving the needle forward.

My audience is all sports fans. I want everyone from the casual fan to the most diehard, never miss a game fan to check out the site.  I am hoping to impact young women who want to break into sports media or media in general, but need a push to get out there.”

So far throughout your career, what has been your proudest personal media moment?

“I have two. One is that I had articles featured on Bleacher Report which is one of the biggest media outlets and an app I have on my phone which I thought was so cool! It felt like they added legitimacy to my writing.

The second moment was just recently one of the women who used to write for the site reached out to me during the height of the protests and thanked me for supporting her when she wrote about the death of Stephen Clark in Northern California and how athletes responded to it. She told me she didn’t know if it was “appropriate”, but my support pushed her to write it. That was the moment all of the hard work was worth it. I want women to feel comfortable writing about difficult topics especially ones as important as police brutality.  I want to be that support system that reminds women in a society that wants to suppress your voice, please know it needs to be heard.”

What advice would you give aspiring mediapreneurs looking to enter the field? 

“Keep going. This is honestly the hardest part. Staying motivated can be tough especially when you feel like your social media accounts aren’t growing, but you have to push through. It’s okay if you need a mental reset or break, but don’t give up! We all need a break from staring at our phones and/or laptops.

Be kind to others and most importantly yourself. It costs you absolutely nothing to be gracious when people reach out. We need more kindness in this world. More importantly, don’t beat up on yourself. If you haven’t posted in a while or you haven’t felt inspired, you are not a failure in any way. People still want your unique content. Your work is important and don’t doubt your talent.”

Support Ashleigh Binder by visiting Sports As Told By A Girl‘s official website www.sportsastoldbyagirl.com and following the site’s official social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Independent Entertainment Media Coalition is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization dedicated to provided financial, educational, and professional resources for freelance media figures. Help in our efforts! To make a donation, please click HERE!