Temple senior explores passion for sports at Temple

Ally Esposito is grateful for the resources she was afforded through Temple

When Ally Esposito, a senior sports and recreation management major, couldn’t make it to her high school’s soccer team after trying out during her freshman year, she was heartbroken. Still reeling from the rejection, she looked toward other avenues to exercise her passion for sports. 

Little did she know that this rejection was a blessing in disguise. Esposito went on to manage the football and basketball teams at her high school, where she discovered a new-found passion for being on the sidelines, managing from the surface-level and extending support from beyond the playing field. “Had I been accepted to the soccer team, I would have not discovered my passion for sports management,” Esposito said. 

Growing up, Esposito was surrounded by sports, which helped her develop an early appreciation for it even before she was an adult. She credits her brother and father for introducing her to sports when she was a child. “My brother played basketball and baseball and I played lacrosse,” she said, “If I was not playing, I was watching it.”

However, Esposito firmly believes that there’s much more to sports than just being a player out on the field. 

“The things you can do in sports is beyond just the field. There’s logistics, marketing, outreach, hospitality check-ins, team management, social media and game operations,” she said. Her passion for sports extends way beyond just playing, and sports management has allowed Esposito to discover her talents from the sidelines. 

A Maryland native, Esposito transferred to Temple during her first year in college. Having never heard of Temple before, Esposito’s extensive research was what finally led her to the college of her dreams. “Temple has an excellent reputation for sports and hospitality management and has far exceeded my expectations. It has been everything and beyond for me,” she said, reflecting on her experience.

Esposito was full of praise for the school’s professional and academic resources, saying that it allowed her to step out of her comfort zone and tread outside the classroom. She especially lauded the career development resources afforded to her through Temple, adding that serving mandatory volunteer hours and having to commit to at least two professional organizations was what pushed her to her best capability and bolstered her resume. “Temple prepares you for the outside world,” Esposito said. 

Beyond Temple, Esposito has several internships with esteemed organizations under her belt. Most notably, she is a team attendant for the Philadelphia 76ers, where she helps monitor the ground during games, hydrate players, aid with managerial operations and ensure that everything from the player’s standpoint is taken care of. She has also interned with the New York Jets, ESPN Bowl Week and the United States Golf Association.

Esposito talks most fondly about her time with Temple Football. “I love Temple Athletics, which is why I have been working for them for four years now,” she said. As part of her job as a communications intern, Esposito organizes interviews with coaches, staff and players for media organizations and assists with game management and staffing, where she oversees all credentials. 

“An advice I have for students is to put themselves out there and take up as many opportunities as they can. I did loads of volunteer, unpaid work but it paid off because it allowed people to recognize me,” she said, “Networking is key. Network, network, network!”

During her time at Temple, Esposito has held multiple jobs, internships and leadership positions. “I would like to thank my mentor and professor, Dr. Elizabeth Taylor, and Jeffrey Montague,” she said. Montague is also Esposito’s faculty advisor for Minorities in Sports, an on-campus organization that she leads. 

“She[Taylor] is a big advocate for women in sports. She’s honestly amazing,” Esposito said, who herself is a big champion for increased minority and female visibility within sports. 

“Women can do everything that men can do – they can lift and do hard work so we need to not make it a big deal anymore,” Esposito said, “I think our generation is way better when it comes to that but there still need to be more options for women in sports. I don’t want to walk into a room and be the only woman.”

Esposito resents the lack of options women are afforded in the sports management field, but she is determined to change things.

“I wouldn’t be here without the support of my parents, brother, and friends. They have always supported my journey in the sports world and I wouldn’t be in this position without them!” Esposito mused. She said she feels confident that Temple has equipped her with the necessary life and professional skills that she needs to navigate life after college. 

Written by: Rjaa Ahmed

Photography by: Alesan Aboafahe

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