For anyone thinking that football is a men’s world, Taylor Bisciotti is here to prove them wrong. This power lady knows what she wants and isn’t afraid of working hard to achieve her dreams—even if that means facing adversity in a male-dominated industry. Her passion for sports has led her to become the youngest on-air talent ever hired by the NFL Network.
BELLA had a chat with Taylor about how she got into sports and entertainment, how she makes her mark as a woman on the proverbial football field, and what else she is passionate about.
Have you always had a passion for football and sports?
I have! I’m from Atlanta, Georgia (home of SEC football) and then went to UGA. It’s hard not to be a die-hard football fan growing up in the south. I also grew up going to NFL games with my family. I have one brother and then 3 boy cousins from my dad’s side of the family so football was a way that we connected, bonded and a way that I could fit in with them. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it too. I think that sports are amazing with a rare quality that brings people together. People from all different backgrounds and paths of life come together either on the field or off the field as fans. You’re able to put aside all your differences and cheer for your team for a few hours.
How did you get into reporting and being hired as NFL Network’s youngest on-air talent?
I was sitting in class finishing up my final year of accounting at the University of Georgia and just couldn’t imagine myself sitting in a small cubicle crunching numbers all day. It just wasn’t my personality! I ended up interning at WUSA9, (a local CBS affiliate in Washington DC), on the nightly newscast and that’s when I knew that I wanted to be a reporter. I went back to school and took over 30 hours in two semesters. I worked for ESPNU and our school station covering Northeast Georgia in my last semester. After college I was free lancing for Sporting News and Bleacher Report, still doing as much for ESPNU as possible (keep in mind I was a one man band… meaning I was shooting, writing, editing, and reporting. It taught me a lot!) Afterwards, I began freelancing for SEC network. After that, I received a call from NFL Network to be full time on air talent for news updates. I can’t tell you how excited I was.
What is it like for you, working as a woman in a male-dominated industry?
It’s no different than any other field. I think that a lot of fields are male-dominated and it takes a while to find your voice. The best advice I was given was to always be prepared, know your stuff, and read as much as you can (thank you, Dad). Ultimately, whatever preconceived notions people have of you as a female working in sports will hopefully go away – just work that much harder to prove them wrong. I also think that women before me have made it a lot easier for females to hold these great positions. They certainly fought boundaries to pave the way and I’m very grateful for that.
What advice can you give girls who love football or sports in general, but feel intimidated by men ruling the sport?
It’s okay to feel intimidated! I think everyone at some point or another feels intimidated in whatever field they work in. Work hard, know your stuff, prove them wrong. Ask questions! We are at such an advantage in today’s world with social media where you can start your own YouTube channel. Get reps in interviewing players, coaches, etc. Put your favorite stuff on your channel. Ask to shadow people in the industry. I still do that! You learn so much from watching someone else do it and they usually love helping.
Supporting good causes is important to you—Can you tell us more about what you do to give back?
I’m actually in the process of becoming involved with a charity in Los Angeles. I was very involved with a few different charities in Atlanta but now that I live here it’s harder to be as involved. I was working with the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta as well as Children Healthcare of Atlanta when I lived there. My mom is very philanthropic so I became involved through her. I can’t wait to start that back up in Los Angeles. I think I get just as much, if not more, out of spending time with the kids than they do. It’s therapeutic.
Keep an eye out for Taylor the next time you tune into NFL Network, and follow her on Instagram @taylorbisciotti!
Photo by Emilio Sanchez