Ally Redig is one of the most remarkable women in the sports industry today, and we had the pleasure of speaking with her in a recent interview. She’s the President and Founder of Ally Redig Athlete Relations, a company committed to making the lives of professional athletes easier on and off the field. Some of her clients include Miami Dolphins running back Jordan Howard, Denver Broncos defensive tackle Shelby Harris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver John Franklin and many more.
This Interview, conducted by Daniel Alameda of TWSN was edited for clarity.
“Most people have Siri on their phones, I have Ally.” – Josh Woods (Chicago Bears linebacker)
While it’s extremely difficult to have major success in the sports industry today, there are a select few that have the drive and formula to do so. Ally is one of them. The Illinois native started out in the communications and public relations industry, but she always knew she wanted to work with athletes one on one. Once she had the vision of starting her own company, she worked for multiple marketing and athlete relations companies in order to gain a full knowledge of the logistics behind running her own company.
In the summer of 2018, she established Ally Redig Athlete Relations and the rest is history.
When dealing with a company based on clientele, the first question that comes to mind is how do you spread your brand’s name?
Question: What have been the steps you’ve taken to grow your company?
“Our first full time client was someone who I knew before, but then I just learned about athletes through other athletes. They often learned about us through referrals, and really just word of mouth. The most successful way of growing our presence was simply word of mouth.”
The sports industry is one of the toughest industries to break into, so every startup needs something that sets them apart from the pack.
“The steps we took were simply growing our contacts, networking, and having people really understand what we do. It’s not public relations, it’s not marketing, it’s not an agency, it’s a very specific job and we do it well”
“I don’t have an elevator pitch. I try to make it as personal as I can for each athlete”
Despite the most effective way of growth being word of mouth, there always needs to be something to reel in the client.
Question: What is your most effective pitch to potential clients?
“I don’t have an elevator pitch. I try to make it as personal as I can for each athlete. Basically, we’re asking where they feel like they have gaps in their life. Do they need someone to help schedule their daily life meaning interviews, appearances, etc. Or do they need help on a more personal level. Do they want to travel more, eat at new restaurants, products they want to be working with, just to give us the well rounded view on where they’re having gaps in their life.”
This is what sets Ally Redig and her company apart from the rest. Although it may seem like there are a million other companies helping athletes with their daily life, Ally’s company has found its niche, and she knows this.
“People always ask me about going full service which means public relations, marketing and having everything in one, I say no. There are already so many places that already do that. I want to do this one thing and do it really well. When I say we found our niche, I mean it.”
“It’s interesting to see people’s initial reaction when you can hold a conversation about some teams offense”
Not only is running your own business difficult, but doing it as a woman is much more difficult.
“As a woman in sports starting out, there’s an extra layer of REALLY proving yourself to others.”
Question: What have been the biggest hurdles you’ve faced as a woman in this industry?
“The biggest hurdle is the whole ‘You’re a woman, why would you know sports?’ It’s truly interesting to see the initial reaction from people when you can hold a conversation about some team’s offense. I’m not a commentator, I’m not an agent, and I really don’t have to know the game, but I do. The fact that I’m a woman and I’m doing this just doesn’t calculate into people’s heads.”
Sports is one of the toughest industries to make a name for yourself as a woman, but Ally is leading the fight for change by example.
“These are things that all of us women in the sports industry are trying to do. We’re trying to break down those walls and break down those barriers. There’s a lot of us in the same boat who are driving home the ‘We’re supposed to be here’ mentality. Every time I’m at the Super Bowl or on the field at kickoff, I get that rush that I’m supposed to be here.”
“If you can get over that initial hump, and your work speaks for itself, then it doesn’t matter what people think. It’ll turn out the rightway.”
“Start Networking, ask questions, and be a problem solver”
Despite being specifically invested in the sports field, there are certain pieces of advice that are applicable anywhere in life.
Question: Say there is someone who wants to be where you are in your career. What steps do they have to take in order to get there?
“Be willing to put in a lot of work. I didn’t have a life for like years but not anymore *laughter*. The sports world is like this walled guarded industry, so simply getting your foot in the door is huge.”
“From day one, start networking, so wherever you go to apply for that job, you can say ‘I know this person’ or ‘I talked to this person’. Ask questions. Most people won’t give you the time of day, so if you can get ten minutes just to bounce ideas off of them or hear about their path, that builds your network. Lastly, always find a solution to every problem. I’ve started to notice that you can never not have a solution. If your boss or a client comes to you in need of help, you have to find a way to give them what they need.”
Balance. That’s the name of the game. Her ability to balance the professional and personal aspects of her work makes Ally Redig Athlete Relations stand apart from the pack.
“Sports is one of the only fields where you have to be professional but also relate on a personal level. You have to find a balance because the athletes don’t just want a robot, they want someone who they can trust. Shelby is almost like my older brother, Jordan has been at my family’s Christmas, and both Josh Woods and John Franklin were at my Easter party last year. They have become so integrated into my life that they’re genuinely part of my family.”
Once we were off the recording, Ally left me with some golden pieces of knowledge. Despite being at the level she is now, nothing came easy. She worked her way up the ranks, climbing barrier after barrier. While everyone in life wants things easy, Ally is a walking testament to the fact that nothing substitutes for hard work. If you ever think you can’t achieve something, hear her story and you’ll realize that any dream is attainable.
Once again huge thanks to Ally Redig for taking the time to do this interview with us here at TWSN.
“It doesn’t matter what people think, hard work speaks for itself.”Ally Redig – President of Ally Redig Athlete Relations