Q&A Session With Baron’s Anna Facecchia and Kay Mendonca

by Last updated Feb 29, 2024Baron Rings

“This collaboration spoke volumes to me, as it served as a nod to the talent in an up-and-coming player – and highlighted that there is a commitment and foundation of respect already being established”

Behind the Scenes: Q&A Session With Baron®‘s Anna Facecchia and Kay Mendonca.

February 9, 2024 – In this exclusive Q&A Session with Baron®‘s Anna Facecchia and Kay Mendonca, the dynamic duo share their remarkable journeys into the sports industry.

From fortuitous opportunities at Baron® to unforgettable moments working with NBA and CFL Champions.

Reflecting on childhood idols like Mia Hamm, or favorite teams like the WNBA Detroit Shock, Anna, and Kay weave a narrative connecting their passion for sports to their impactful roles at Baron® Championship Rings.

Discussing challenges in women’s sports, they emphasize the pivotal role of male athletes in driving visibility and advocate for collaborative efforts.

Looking ahead, they envision a future where women in sports command a larger audience, with new leagues and increased media representation shaping the landscape.

The interview culminates in empowering advice for young athletes, emphasizing the transformative power of sports beyond the game itself.

How did your opportunity at Baron® come to fruition?

Anna: I was looking for a full-time job and found out through a family friend that Baron® was hiring. This was an exciting thought because I have always been interested in working in the sports field in one way or another.

I called Drina and set up an interview with her. She hired me the next day with the role of her assistant. I started in August 2016 and have worked in several departments since.

Kay: The opportunity stemmed from my volunteer position as an assistant coach for a girls’ basketball team. After a great season of coaching, I was looking for a change in my professional career and saw a job posting from a parent of a player on the team.

The listing was from our current President, Drina Baron-Zinyk, and the rest is history!

What has been your most memorable moment at Baron®?

Anna: A couple of weeks after I was hired we landed the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Championship Ring account. I got to spend a lot of time helping out with the account in the office and at Cleveland.

I met several players on the team and worked alongside the Cavaliers organization. As a big basketball fan and previous player, it was very exciting and a great experience.

Kay: There have been so many amazing opportunities that have come forth throughout my 5 years with Baron®.

I would have to say that I was especially inspired as a guest at the 2022 Toronto Argonauts Grey Cup Championship Ring ceremony where I was able to experience the ring unveiling firsthand.

The energy in the Toronto Argonauts‘ venue was amazing and the discussions I had with members of that organization were incredible.

Growing up, what women in sports did you look up to?

Anna: I always loved watching the Detroit Shock WNBA team.

My basketball team used to play in their invitational tournaments and we even got to play a game on the court at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Kay: The first superstar female athlete that I looked up to was Mia Hamm.

Although at the time her matches were not as accessible to watch, she quickly became a favourite of mine through magazine articles, TV interviews, and the biggest brand endorsements.

I would rewatch her Gatorade commercial alongside Michael Jordan over and over again!

Through her ownership of LAFC, I was lucky enough to meet her at the 2022 Los Angeles Football Club MLS Cup Champions Ring presentation and I was completely star-struck!

What is your favorite memory associated with sports?

Anna: Watching the NCAA Basketball Tournaments every year.

I hang out with my dad and we watch as many games as we possibly can.

We are usually also celebrating my birthday on the first day or two of games so it’s the best birthday gift I could ask for.

March Madness is a real thing in our household and I would not have it any other way.

Kay: I am a total Olympic geek!! I have countless memories of admiring the Magnificent Seven gymnastics team.

Cheering on Shaun White in the halfpipe, and most recently, rooting for Team Canada Soccer as they brought home the Gold Medal in the 2020 games.

It’s an event that I look forward to every couple of years, knowing that more memories will be made!

What do you think is the biggest barrier in driving the visibility of women’s sports?

Anna: Coverage. It is very hard to come across a women’s sporting event on national TV.

I read that women’s sports currently account for 15% of sports media coverage in the US.

This is better than it was a few years ago but it is still not even close to where it should be.

Kay: Hands down, the overall lack of exposure is the biggest barrier for women’s sports.

Across the board, we need more coverage and endorsements—also, merchandise to properly represent the amazing athletes and continue to grow the excitement surrounding their sports.

How do you think male athletes can help to drive more visibility towards women’s sports?

Anna: Over the last few years you see more and more professional male athletes promoting women’s sports by talking about it in the media, attending events, and sharing the spotlight so I would say this just needs to continue to be the narrative going forward but on an even larger scale.

Kay: Male athletes could help by sharing the spotlight and using their already established platform to drive fans towards women’s sports.

It would be great to see more recognition from male athletes’ social media for top performances and achievements for their female counterparts in order to attract more viewers.

Recently, Steph Curry challenged the reigning WNBA 3PT Champion Sabrina Ionescu to go head-to-head in a shoot-off.

This collaboration spoke volumes to me, as it served as a nod to the talent in an up-and-coming player – and highlighted that there is a commitment and foundation of respect already being established.

With the continued help from male athletes, we will be able to shine the spotlight on a new batch of female superstars and continue to fight for equal pay along the way.

Where do you see women in sports 10 years from now?

Anna: I see women gaining a larger audience in the next ten years. We have definitely been trending in the right direction.

Kay: We’ve come such a long way over the past 10 years and I’m excited to see what the next 10 will bring.

With new leagues like the PWHL and Pro Volleyball Federation, the talent will continue to be on display and more accessible to new viewers.

Combining exciting new leagues with the continuing presence of females in sports media, we could see a new wave of young female sports fans in the next decade.

What advice would you give to a young girl who is just starting off in sports?

Anna: Have fun!

Sports should be what you look forward to at the end of a long day.

You get to blow off steam and meet new people who will end up being like a second family.

Being a part of a team is about a lot more than just the sport.

Kay: I would tell young girls to always have fun and never back down from a challenge.

Sports are about so much more than the game itself.

The friendships, discipline, and commitment to success all contribute to the growth of a great young woman.

The more young women we have in sports, the easier it will be for us to keep breaking barriers and growing our games.

1. NIKE: One Day We Won’t Need This Day | Nike On International Women’s Day, Nike is celebrating the women who have moved sport forward—in the hopes that One Day, every day will feel like this one we mark on our calendars.
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2. NIKE – University of North Carolina Tar Heels: Stereotypes were made to be broken.
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3. LSU Sports – LSU Women’s Basketball Final Four Hype Video 
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4. CBU Lancers: CBU Women’s Soccer Hype Video 2023 – The 2023 Women’s Soccer Hype Video for California Baptist University.
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PWHL: Pioneering Equality on the Ice

The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) is geared up for a historic start to its inaugural season on January 1, 2024, boasting six powerhouse teams – Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, New York, Boston, and Minnesota.

What sets PWHL apart is its groundbreaking ownership structure: all six teams are proudly owned by the well-funded Mark Walton Group. With a collective bargaining agreement spanning the next eight years, PWHL marks a significant evolution for women’s hockey.

The league features a star-studded roster, including key players from both the Canadian and U.S. National Women’s teams, as well as international, found among the 157 players. As a result, PWHL is the premier destination for top-tier women’s hockey talent.

As the league started to take center stage, it promised to redefine the landscape of professional women’s hockey with unparalleled funding, and a global array of talent.

Custom Championship Rings for Athletes

In this awesome Q&A Session Baron’s Anna Facecchia and Kay Mendonca shared their unique stories from working in the sports industry! They talked about how they got started, some lucky breaks they had, and even shared some unforgettable moments with NBA and CFL champions.

Their reflections on childhood sports idols and memorable experiences contribute to a broader narrative at Baron® Championship Rings. Addressing challenges in women’s sports, they underscore the vital role of male athletes in promoting visibility.

Looking towards the future, Anna and Kay envision a landscape where women in sports gain a larger audience.

We thank Anna and Kay for sharing their insights and invite readers to join the celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day in February.

We anticipate that their blog will contribute to the ongoing campaign, sparking conversations about the significance of women’s contributions to the sports world.

Elevate her victory with a custom Championship Ring crafted by Baron®!

Design and order now to commemorate the achievements of female athletes. Whether for a team, university, college, or individual, our unparalleled craftsmanship captures the essence of triumph.

Start the journey towards a masterpiece that reflects her success – because every triumph deserves a personalized touch! Order your custom Championship Ring today!

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