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Women's History Month | Meet Vice President of UK Operations Maria Gigante 

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In honor of Women's History Month the Jacksonville Jaguars asked five questions to women employees who are actively transforming and paving the way for women working in sports and entertainment. Currently, the Jaguars have over 100 women on staff across the Jacksonville Jaguars and Bold Events organizations. Check out our final feature as we wrap up March.

What is your advice to younger women interested in working in sports?

  • Work hard and put in the work, don't let your gender hold you back. Look for support and mentorship from either a man or a woman in the organization, finding those connections will be key to your growth.

Describe a favorite memory or experience you have had while working with the Jaguars.

  • Even though I have only been with the team for 2 years, I have worked alongside the Jaguars for over 10 years in the UK considering my previous position with the League office and managing NFL London games. I have seen how much effort the team has put into building the Jaguars brand in the UK and how that has created fans and great support for our home games. However, one moment that stands out for me was internal and during our first Summer Player tour post Covid. I was in the green room before an event with Josh Allen, Evan Engram and Tony Boselli and we were prepping for a community event, Josh and Evan were asking questions about our business in the UK, what we were doing year-round and what it meant to own and manage our game. It was at that moment a lightbulb went off and they really understood why the team travels to another country every season to play a game. It wasn't just about the one game, it was about all the other activity 365, that was really special and what the team was building. For me personally, it really felt like we had made tremendous progress building advocates for our work in the UK and having players engaged and wanting to know more was very special.

Who is someone that has helped get you to the position or shaped you into the person you are today?

  • Probably a typical response, but my mom really shaped my drive and ambition. My mom reinvented herself at 45/later in life, after raising 5 children. I was number 5. My most vivid childhood memories are of my mom taking me to her college classes so she could finish her degree and then waiting for her to come home from work to make dinner. My mom climbed the corporate ladder and became a successful office manager for one of the biggest computer and IT companies, all while raising her youngest daughter (me). I watched her achieve so much professionally while still taking care of her family. She showed me that you can do both. When it was my turn, she was there to help me manage it all. She helped raise my children which allowed me the opportunity to continue to pursue my career goals. It was really only after she passed away did I realize how much my mom understood how different all her children were and what we all needed from her to be successful. She loved us all, but supported and managed us all so differently. It was this special gift she gave to her children and one I hope to be able to give to my own.
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What was your journey in getting to your role?

  • My journey started as a receptionist at NFL headquarters on Park Ave in 1993. I was in the "fishbowl" and welcomed guests to the building and got coffee. I got the job through a friend of the family. I took up extra projects any time something became available. I stayed late, worked on anything and everything and eventually was promoted to an assistant/secretary for the VP of Consumer Products. It was there I began my event management journey, traveling to Super Bowl, trade shows and other League events helping out my department and organizing events. Again, taking on any role that was available. I moved over to the International side of the NFL (and worked under Ann Carrol/former Jags employees. Ann was one of my mentors growing up at the League) in 2000 and spent the remainder of my career at the League overseeing games in international markets, including the first ever regular season game outside of the US in Mexico City. I got to see the world through my job at the League. 
  • In 2012 the League made me an offer to move to the UK for 2 years to help grow the London game series at Wembley, and 2 years turned into 10 and now working for the Jaguars! Leaving the US was tough considering I had 2 young children. They stayed in the US with their Dad, and I went back and forth from the US and UK for many years, until they eventually moved to the UK.

In one word, describe being a women in sports.

  • Fulfilling.
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From the sidelines, to the press box, behind the scenes and more there are countless women in the Jaguars organization working hard every day. As we honor Women's History Month, swipe through shots from our recent events and the women of Jaguars and Bold Events making their mark.

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