Julie Uhrman, President and Co-Founder of Angel City FC
“Being a woman working in sports has challenged me to open the door for other women wanting to work in the industry…I’m able to bring those connections together to make sure there are more women working in sports and becoming business executives than ever before."
– Courtney Ksiazek, Director, Partnership Marketing for Angel City FC
#ChooseToChallenge —Angel City Football Club
Hands up high – we’re in! In honor of IWD 2021 we are supporting our partners, Angel City Football Club. See how they #ChooseToChallenge male-led sports teams in the Los Angeles area to help break the status quo through their support of women in sports. We’re celebrating the amazing women within our community while also choosing to challenge gender bias and inequality.
“It’s not just the excitement of paying off years of hard work, it’s the thought of actually coming together…by a commitment to our city and behind a team of women who are going to make history."
– Catherine Dávila, Head of Community for Angel City FC
- What makes you most proud to be standing behind Angel City?
We view Angel City as a platform. And we view Angel City Football Club as the first expression of that platform that stands for equality and impact. You could see us develop other products or services or move into other leagues to develop other teams that also have those same underlying principles of equality and impact. We want to use this club – the players, the coaches, the front office, the investors – as a platform to set higher expectations on and off the field.
2. What is the team currently doing to get more involved within the LA community?
We have a host of community efforts in process, many of which are a direct result of the money allocated through the Angel City Sponsorship Model where ACFC collaborates with each of its corporate partners to re-allocate 10% of the value of their sponsorship via product, asset, or monetary donation, to local causes. This includes our partnership with Therabody and the use of the Kiva platform to fund local women-owned small businesses in LA and our partnership with DoorDash that addresses food insecurity in Los Angeles. We are also creating a mentorship program for girls in Los Angeles with Birdies and supporting the LGBTQ community in and around LA through our partnership with Heineken USA. Moreover, when possible, we have held events to give back to the community including a drive-up equipment donation rally, a gift card drive for the Boys & Girls Clubs as well as recent merchandise collaborations where proceeds benefit various causes.
3. What are you most excited about to see with Angel City?
We have built Angel City differently from the beginning — leading with purpose, committed to making an impact locally while building a global brand, and driving to profitability. It is amazing to see these different components come together on a day-to- day basis, but I know that it will be unlike anything when we are at Banc of California Stadium on our opening day. I know we are going to build an incredible, FOMO gameday experience and community events, but just knowing we built this and did it the right way is what I am most excited about.
4. What are you hoping to build within your team of women and community?
The idea that I could play a role in building a women’s team in LA is incredibly important to me and to everyone at Angel City. We are building something bigger than a game, a platform where mission and capital coexist. We want to build a community that not only wants to show up for our team on the field, but for our community in the streets. We believe we are building a platform, where we can use sports to address social injustice. We can leverage our platform, players, even our organization to show up and work to get young girls and boys more access to sports, help them see the value of playing longer not only for their physical well-being but mental as well.
5. What are you hoping to gain from the #ChooseToChallenge initiative?
We want to take over the sports world on March 8. It is International Women’s Day. We have a female VP in the White House, we have a new women’s sports team coming to Los Angeles, and we are making it the day to support women’s sports. We are showing that men’s teams are on board with supporting women’s sports and further our message of equity and impact.
6. How will the team be supporting this initiative this month and moving forward?
With everything Angel City does, we lead with purpose. We are launching our seat deposit campaign for our inaugural 2022 season, but it isn’t just a seat. With every seat deposit sold, we will be giving a one-for-one donation to girls in need, which we are announcing soon and we can’t wait. Additionally, we have a piece of merchandise that we are selling exclusively for International Women’s Day and $5 of each hat goes to the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles. We aren’t celebrating Women’s History just in the month of March. We are celebrating it every day as we work tirelessly to level the playing field in every sense of the word.
7. How has being a woman working in the sport world empowered/challenged you?
When I was nine years old, my twin sister and I joined the local YMCA to play our favorite sport, basketball. She and I were the only two girls, out of 60 players on the court that year, and were the only girls playing for many more years. It really didn’t make a difference to us – we just wanted to play, and we loved it. It made us stronger. We were no different than the boys. For the next 12 years, throughout college, basketball was a big part of my life. I am convinced that my successes in the business world, over the last 25 years, in large part, can be attributed to my experiences on the court. The lessons I learned on that court have fueled me to follow my dreams.
8. You could give one piece of advice to another woman or girl trying to make it in the soccer world, what would it be?
To never take no for an answer. To work hard and always understand the value of teamwork.