Meet the Match

Former Journalist Wants More Mexican Women in Sports Media

Imagine knowing exactly what you wanted to do with your life at 11 years old and then making it happen. Most children only dream of where their futures might take them. However, in the case of Carla Bustamante, she knew the path she would follow before she even reached high school.

“When I was 11 years old, I won a local newspaper contest and got to be a reporter for a day for at the Caribbean Series Baseball Tournament,” Carla says. “I went to the ballpark in Hermosillo and got to interview a lot of great baseball players. When I went home, I said to my mom, ‘I don’t want to clean my shoes, they have dust from the ballpark.’ I wanted to remember that day forever. That day defined me as a person.”

Carla launched her professional journalism career in high school, which has resulted in a long list of firsts – first woman sportscaster for Telemax, first female announcer for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo Baseball Club, and first woman to work in an executive position for the Naranjeros. Carla’s professional journey also includes serving as a columnist for the sports magazines Score and Béisbol Total, a freelancer for ESPN, and a reporter for Megacable. Carla’s educational achievements include a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and a master’s in marketing and international business from the Universidad del Valle de Mexico.

In 2006, Carla took on a behind-the-scenes role when she joined the Naranjeros, where she is now director of public relations, handling everything from press conferences and game-day promotions to social media.

“I became the first woman in the organization to work in an executive position. I’m really thankful to my boss and the president to trust in me, but it’s very difficult. Before, there were no women with these responsibilities,” Carla says.

“Previously, when I was a sportscaster, I would hear comments from people like, ‘Really a woman?’ We’re just expected to be a pretty face, and wear short skirts, but not actually know about sports. As women, these are the challenges we face in sports media.”

In Mexico, Carla says that mothers raise their boys to become the breadwinners while girls are told to focus on marriage, having children, and learning domestic duties like cooking and cleaning. But Carla has overcome these stereotypes and wants to become a role model for girls in Hermosillo who wish to pursue a career in sports.

“I want to continue inspiring women in my region to take on sports careers, despite the stereotypes and obstacles.” says Carla about her goals for the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP). Through this program, Carla hopes to gain experiences in visual technology, as interactive media has become increasingly important in her role for the Naranjeros. Lastly, Carla seeks to better understand the sport systems in the United States and to strengthen her skills in marketing, promotions, and public relations.

There is no greater mentor for Carla than Marina Escobar, Vice President of Visual Technology for ESPN. Marina’s zest for life, her passion for her profession, and her commitment to increasing the number of women leaders in the industry will be invaluable to Carla and her aspirations for this program. During Marina’s 27 years in television, very few females in the industry were available to guide and support her professionally, especially in the early years. By serving as a mentor in this program, Marina hopes she can provide the support for her Emerging Leader that she needed in the early phases of her own career. Together, we believe Carla and Marina will forge a new path for little girls in Mexico, little girls who dream of careers in sports media and technology.

“That day in the ballpark changed me,” Carla says. “And now, I must find a way to make that happen for others. My dream is that after participating in this program, there will be many more girls who love baseball, football, basketball; that have opinions and voice those opinions, and ask for advice, and are part of the team.”

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