We are excited to take a minute to feature our 2022-23 Excel Fellow, Naya Fisher. Launched in 2021, Excel’s Fellowship Program is a fully-paid, one-year rotational program for individuals from underrepresented groups to join the Excel family and gain industry experience and exposure. During the program, the Excel Fellow spends four months embedded in three different groups to provide a broader understanding of the opportunities across sport and to help zero in on potential career paths.

Naya joined us this year after graduating from Rutgers University in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in communication and media studies, arriving with media relations and assistant experience with Wagner College athletics and Rutgers University football. Her diverse work, internship, and collegiate experiences provided her with a multidimensional skillset that has made her stand out during her fellowship program.

“I feel like the fellowship provides me with something that is more attainable for me resume-wise,” Naya said. “I was excited to be part of the program because I would be able to meet more people and have greater visibility within Excel as a Fellow.”

One of the highlights of Naya’s experience so far is the day-to-day of being in the office. Handling key projects while forging relationships with co-workers has provided her with great experience as well as confidence. There have also been specific connections she has built with co-workers who have acted as mentors during the fellowship.

“I feel like the people at Excel are what makes the experience,” Naya said.

Naya worked in Talent Sales for the first four months of her rotation where she focused on creating and building new relationships with brands. One project she worked on was securing products for gift bags for Excel’s baseball prospects in the Arizona Fall League. She worked with Carhartt to secure the actual bags that would be distributed and also worked with other brands across multiple categories to secure products like protein bars, beverages, apparel and equipment.

Naya’s second rotation was with Excel’s Brand Marketing team where she provided support to a number of accounts, including Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Under Armour. Naya began working on the Under Armour account’s “basketball pipeline” to help identify potential athletes the brand could target as ambassadors. She also assisted in the development of athlete recruiting decks and built research reports. Naya had the chance to participate in the RFP response for a new project with Under Armour which led to the Brand Marketing team leading UA’s first NBA All-Star activation in four years. To top it off, Naya traveled out to Salt Lake City to help bring the activation to life.

Naya is currently in her last rotation working with the Basketball division, supporting the group during one of the busiest times of the year.  Ahead of the NBA Draft, Naya has helped the agents prepare pre-draft books which provide clients with critical information that ensures they are prepared throughout the draft process. Naya also got a taste of the client servicing side of the business, helping iron out living accommodations in New York for a client who had been traded across the country and coordinating and fulfilling client marketing engagements and media opportunities.

Naya would like to work in a recruiting or marketing role, specifically in basketball, and she is confident that the people she has met, the work she has done, and departments she has been a part of have all helped her pursue the next chapter of her career. We are lucky to have her and know she has a bright future ahead!