Category: GEMA, GEMA Externship

Title:GEMA Externship: Where Are They Now? Alyse Brehm (C’13)

Alyse Brehm (C’13) is on the Growth Audiences Marketing team at the NFL. In this role, her team’s mission is to future-proof the NFL, growing fandom among expansion audiences. Her key areas of focus are growing the sport of flag football, along with working with partners on youth initiatives and NFL Youth altcasts.

What was your first “big break”? Or, what is the most significant experience you have had that has made your success possible?

I’m a GEMA success story! I can thank my senior year externship for my first big break at the NFL. While on my externship I met with Sarah Swanson, who at the time was the VP of NFL Network Marketing. Once I graduated, I moved to LA to find a job, and stayed in touch with my GEMA network. Sarah knew I was hungry for a marketing job and reached out to me once she became aware of an entry level position opening at the NFL. She encouraged me to apply… and now 11 years later I’m still here!

What was your first job?

Marketing Coordinator, NFL Network. My job was supporting the marketing department to drive our fans to tune-in to NFL Network shows and Thursday Night Football games.

What do you do in your job now? What is your favorite part of your current position?

I’ve worked at the NFL for 11 years and have worn a lot of hats. I’ve had the privilege of working on initiatives including NFL Draft, Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, Playoffs, the transition from Thursday Night Football to Prime Video, NFL 100 and more. 

In my current role, my focus is on future-proofing the NFL fanbase by gaining traction with priority audiences, namely youth, latino and women. My biggest initiative is growing the sport of flag football and driving youth consumption of NFL content. 

I had a few career highlights this past year. First, was the announcement that Flag Football will be included in the LA28 Olympics. I had the opportunity to work on the Olympic Bid. We say that Flag Football represents the future of football – it’s inclusive, played globally and has opened pathways for women and girls. Now to have athletes compete at the most elite level of the sport on a world stage represents a major milestone for our athletes and the sport. 

The second was the notable youth live game altcasts that took place – specifically Nickelodeon’s Super Bowl altcast and Toy Story Funday Football. I never cease to be amazed by the creativity, passion and willpower of our partners, and it’s incredibly motivating to see how the sport can come to life in new creative formats. 

What was the externship experience like for you? Did it have an influence on your career/help kickstart your career?

Yes! Beyond opening the door to my first job, it also gave me exposure into facets of the industry I wouldn’t have typically explored. The exercise of meeting with professionals in the industry helped develop my confidence to continue to build my network. 

What part(s) of the Externship did you find most valuable?

Networking and practicing the art of an informational interview  

What was your experience like attending Georgetown? Were there any particularly formative experiences that were special to you?

I cherished my time at Georgetown. I am beyond grateful that I found the American Studies major because it prepared me with a particular liberal arts skillset that has served me well in my career. It taught me how to think, communicate and pull from a variety of disciplines. I do find it funny that I now work at the NFL, a brand steeped in American Culture. 

I also was on the sailing team, and this is where I formed friendships and connections to the university. I am a firm believer in sport’s ability to connect and empower. 

What’s your advice for an undergraduate trying to break into your industry? Is there anything you would tell your younger self now?

It’s never too early to start taking informational interviews with people that you’re curious to learn more about. Come prepared with questions, a little preparation goes a long way.

Probably more importantly – take a deep breath. Try not to compare yourself to others. It’ll all work out. 

Name someone in your career who has been a valuable mentor or role model to you and why?

Sarah Swanson. First – I have eternal gratitude for Sarah taking a chance on me fresh out of college. Beyond that she’s been an incredible mentor and friend over the years. She’s taught me the importance of believing in myself, building strong relationships and taking fabulous vacations for self-care. Before she left the NFL, she gave me a postcard with Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s quote “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History.” I keep this by my desk as a reminder to listen to my gut and use my voice… just as Sarah would.


To read other “GEMA Externship: Where Are They Now?” posts, click here.