Esmeralda Negron  |  Co-Founder of Ata Football  |  December 28, 2020

2020 was such an incredible year of change, learning, and pushing past limits – all part of an athlete’s DNA.  When the ECNL asked my business partner Hannah Brown and I to join the league’s podcast Breaking the Line I was excited to have a discussion about my new business in soccer, Atalanta Media, born in the challenging times of COVID.  

As we chatted in preparation for, and then during the interview, I realized that while we were talking about the business of soccer and media, much of what I did this year in launching the company was based on lessons learned while playing soccer.  

My business idea and vision took shape with Hannah as we worked our professional networks, using our complementary strengths – much like players on a team do.  Like the game of soccer, we needed to analyze and prepare in detail to manage many moving components at the same time.  We were negotiating deals with investors, broadcast partners and leagues – carefully positioning and anticipating all the contracts and their interactions.  We worked hard and felt that just because we may not know something at one moment in time, it didn’t mean in six months we couldn’t learned it well.

While we began as a startup forging a new and unprecedented structure and concept in sports media, we ended the year positioned to change lives of female soccer players around the globe.  Just like the beautiful game, with preparation, hard work, and a bit of luck – you can position yourself for success in almost anything.

As Christian Lavers spoke about the ECNL on the podcast, I learned more detail about the vision of the league and got more and more excited about how my company and the ECNL can work together to achieve it – to Raise the Game.  The ECNL promotes messages like “More than a League”, “Leaders Play Here” and “Always be More” – all united with the goal to prepare players for life on and off the field.     

Hearing about the ECNL mission made me realize even more that our work through Atalanta Media would provide more female role models for players throughout the league.  That is powerful, and we are excited to try and do that and more in 2021.