As Florida Atlantic University (FAU) men’s basketball team persevered over Kansas State in the Elite Eight during this year’s March Madness, Maya Feigenbaum ’21 was there to capture the historic moment.
For the first time in school history, FAU had punched its ticket to the Final Four in Texas, and Feigenbaum was going with them.
As FAU’s Assistant Director of Marketing, Feigenbaum oversaw the university’s social media accounts for the tournament, as well as the men’s basketball Instagram account, meticulously chronicling the team during warmups, nabbing game-day content, and showcasing the passionate involvement of the FAU community.
With the team in the Final Four, FAU’s social media blew up under Feigenbaum’s direction. The Owls entered the tournament with 9,000 followers and rapidly climbed to more than 21,000.
“To know that I was capable of doing things like that was pretty surreal,” said Feigenbaum.
While some of Feigenbaum’s photos even appeared on SportsCenter, she doesn’t call herself a photographer. She doesn’t call herself an emcee either, but it’s also a role she’s gladly taken on, hyping up gameday crowds and partnering with the school mascot to pass out free t-shirts and create lasting memories. It isn’t all fun and games, though—her main responsibilities involve overseeing marketing for men’s and women’s basketball and indoor and beach volleyball.
Ultimately, the No. 9 Owls fell to the No. 5 San Diego State Aztecs by just one point, which made her work all the more bittersweet: “I look at it as we wanted to give back to our fans who supported us throughout this year.”
At just 23 years old, Feigenbaum has already accomplished a lot—and she is aware that not many people her age can call themselves an Assistant Director of Marketing. But her quick ascent has been a culmination of everything she learned at the Nest.
Originally from Connecticut, Feigenbaum was recruited by Quinnipiac University to play lacrosse in 2017, transferring to Endicott a year later. The communications major said she was a bit nervous to come to Endicott, but the team was so welcoming.
Then came the internships. Feigenbaum worked as a community relations intern with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2019, helping to program and plan events for the ice hockey team.
“The internship program is absolutely amazing. It helped me know what I didn’t like,” said Feigenbaum. “Even just coming into my job now, I still have these moments of, ‘Oh, I don’t really like this—I like doing that.’”
When COVID hit and athletic games stopped, Feigenbaum said it wasn’t an option to complete her senior semester internship in sports. Then Endicott’s Athletics Department called.
Working with Sports Information Director Shawn Medeiros, Feigenbaum interned as a sideline reporter, gaining valuable know-how while reporting at various scrimmages throughout the year. She also helped create and host the athletics talk show From the Nest, where she began creating content.
“With the show, I could interview people and have some fun with it and make it entertaining without having any sports,” said Feigenbaum. “I was also able to watch what Shawn did for his social media pages, and it helped me a lot. It was a really cool way to learn about new things while sports weren't happening.”
“Maya flourished during her internship throughout the pandemic because she possesses innate leadership skills,” said Medeiros. “It’s come as no surprise that Maya has been able to handle being an emcee in front of large D1 crowds and contribute in multiple areas to the creative and marketing teams at FAU, especially during its historic men’s basketball March Madness run. In my opinion, she has been primed for a role like this since the moment I met her.”
After graduating in 2021, Feigenbaum applied to various positions in the sports world. Ironically, it was on Twitter that she found the application for a Marketing Assistant role at FAU, a role she started that fall. She packed up her bags and moved to Florida, knowing no one.
“I think it was scarier than going to college,” said Feigenbaum. “No one really prepares you for after you graduate. Playing lacrosse was a big part of who I was, and I was excited about the new chapter because I was able to still be in sports.”
It took six months for Feigenbaum to fully adjust to her new life, but after a year she was promoted to Assistant Marketing Director.
“I was shocked a little bit,” explained Feigenbaum, who was promoted for going above and beyond her required duties. “I’ve learned to organize myself in a way that helps me succeed in what I need to get done.”
She hopes to someday move up back to the East Coast and keep working in sports, whether for a sports agency or doing community relations for a pro team.
“It’s so cliche to say but I’ve definitely found myself and what I'm interested in, not only career-wise but just as a person,” she said. “The hard work pays off.”
Maya’s Advice for Working in Sports
Maya Feigenbaum ’21 found her footing in the sports world and here she shares some advice for Gulls looking to blaze their own path in sport management and leadership, too.
- Be open-minded and take risks to find out what you like in the industry. Don’t knock it till you try it.
- Network around and do your research. Reaching out to strangers may be scary, but you never know where it might lead you.
- Look everywhere for recent job postings in sports—even Twitter. Professionals constantly share new opportunities on their personal social media accounts, and Twitter was where she found her own job.
- For young women looking to get into the sports industry, never be afraid to voice your opinion. Your voice matters.