You Go Girl! WRITTEN BY Samantha Arnold
ichelle Delloso knows that achieving your dreams can sometimes be a matter of making the right choice and getting that lucky break. As a marketing consultant for adidas, she also knows that achieving your dreams takes a lot of hard work and determination. And with years under her belt as a professional softball and baseball player, Delloso is now in the market to help young girls achieve their dreams. As the founder of the Go Girl Futures Program, Delloso hopes to help young girls interested in sports build self esteem and become motivated through athletics, helping them with their physical and mental wellbeing.
“I believe in enriching kids through sports,” she says. “I have been given so much and now I want to reach out and help other girls who are where I used to be.” Delloso was exposed to sports as a young child in Pennsylvania, with a father and brother who taught her how to play baseball. “My father always believed girls should be able to play with the boys,” she says. “At age 6 I began tagging along with my older brother playing sandlot baseball. Baseball was my first love. I picked it up quickly.” Unfortunately there were no baseball opportunities for older girls and it was in a time before Title IX was passed, which helped to ensure equal athletic opportunity to both male and female students. So Delloso turned to playing softball.
At age 12, Delloso had her life’s dreams all planned out. “My goal was to play professionally, to study business and to work for a major athletic shoe company,” she says. Playing sports during her youth was not only a great self-esteem builder, Delloso says, but it helped her to stay out of trouble. “I love sports, which is why I wanted to start Go Girl. Sports can really help you develop confidence and self esteem. It always kept me out of trouble. It taught me discipline. That is a great feature of this program.” After high school, Delloso began playing for a traveling softball team and was eventually picked up by the University of South Carolina – a lucky break when a scout from the school saw her play. This put her on the path to becoming a professional softball player. In the meantime, joining the SC softball team also brought her closer to another dream: she began studying administration and marketing, which was a new program at the university. “I had always wanted to study business and this was a brand new program,” she says. “It was great timing.” Following her graduation from SC, Delloso started planning to try out for the 1996 Olympic Softball Team. Then in 1993, a women’s professional baseball team was formed to compete in the same league as men. The Colorado Silver Bullets were the first all-female team since the folding of the All-American Girls Professional
Baseball League in 1954. Recruiters for the team came after the top 20 female players in the country. The majority of them said no so they could continue to go the Olympic route, but Delloso was tempted. “Baseball had always been my first love, and this was the first chance I had to go back to it, so I ended up going to play baseball,” she says. The downside was that the Silver Bullets were sponsored by Coors Brewing Company. Because Delloso did not drink alcohol and wanted to serve as a role model for young girls, she didn’t feel like the sponsorship was a good fit. “It was a contradiction to be sponsored by a beer company,” she says. “It just didn’t fit. I wanted to be a role model.” Delloso left the team to pursue other ventures like coaching, and she also began working for Nike. Ultimately, she got her current job working as a marketing consultant for adidas in the women’s softball department. The job was a great opportunity, she says. adidas has also served as a sponsor and advocate for several of Delloso’s projects in helping to give back to young girls. “It was a perfect fit for me to market for women’s sports,” she says. “It was what I went to school for. I ended up on the other side of the business, and I get to help young girls. I wanted to play it right and stay on the path I had set for myself.” JANUARY thru FEBRUARY 2011
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“There is a lot of hard work and sacrifice involved,” she says. “You have to work that much harder as a woman to prove you can do it.”
Photo by Nissa Wells of Hot Shot Images.
Delloso says she enjoys her job with adidas, and has worked hard to get where she is today. “It is the perfect scenario for me to be creative. It is a great company to work for. I love my job. It is good to represent a brand you are proud of.” “It is important to enjoy your job and the work you do,” Delloso says. “It’s just a different kind of company. I can believe in what we are doing. It is refreshing for a company to be that way.” It hasn’t always been easy playing the role of a woman in a maledominated world between sports and her time working in the professional field, Delloso said. “There is a lot of hard work and sacrifice involved. You have to work that much harder as a woman to prove you can do it.”
Throughout her college and professional career, Delloso achieved several honors with her hard work and determination, including being honored as a three-time NCAA All-American in softball, NSCA All-American, ASA All-American, Olympic Festival Gold Medalist and ASA National Champion. Delloso was also inducted into the NSA Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame. She was also the first women’s softball player to have her name on a bat: the Louisville Slugger in 1992. Delloso says she feels lucky to have been granted the opportunities she has had throughout her life. “With Go Girl I am trying to give back that opportunity that was given to me; a one in a million shot,” she says. “I could have been
JANUARY thru FEBRUARY 2011
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overlooked. I’ve had to work hard for every dream I have ever had. Nothing is ever given to you. You should constantly appreciate what is given to you.”
Samantha Arnold has been working as a professional journalist for the past five years. In her spare time, she loves to read, dance, and hike the many canyons that Southern Utah is well known for.
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