Sabrina Oei '97: From Eph Sports Info to Senior Director at Nike

Sabrina Oei '97: From Eph Sports Info to Senior Director at Nike

Current Job Title:  Senior Director, North America Direct Communications leading communications and media relations for our consumer experiences in Nike stores, through our digital apps, and keeping our store employees engaged and inspired. I started this new position in January 2020 after leading sustainability communications for Nike and there's no better time to be in this job, as we bring our purpose of #playfortheworld and doing right by our people and our planet to consumers around the world.

Bill Bowerman, Nike's co-founder said, "If you have a body, you are an athlete."  In my own mind, I'm forever an Ephlete.

Williams graduation year: Glorious 1997.

Sport(s) played at Williams: Tennis (Fall & Spring) and Diving (Swimming & Diving).  Sports have been a panacea in my life and it was at Williams where I found my community. Being an athlete now keeps me connected to nature, my favorite people in life, and my soul. Running, biking, hiking, getting in the pool, jumping on a trampoline, chasing pets and kids, getting outside – all these activities help us see that the world is bigger than just one of us, and help us be better for ourselves and others.  I found community with my teammates at Williams around this same love for sport and caring for each other.

Degree you earned at Williams: English with a Women's Studies concentration. My Williams education catalyzed what motivates me today. Thriving communities and strong teams are diverse, multidimensional, and intersectional. Equality lifts us all up. In my world of sports and communication, it starts by championing an equal share of voice for women in media coverage (Thanks to Billy Jean King for #womenworthwatching) – and giving women and other under-represented athletes an equal opportunity to shine and inspire their communities.

How you got involved in Eph Sports Information:  I was inspired by Lesley Fierst '96 who is a friend, great athlete, and amazing writer. She loved her job in Eph Sports Info - I saw the great relationships she built and wanted to be a part of the whole vibe. She also interned with ESPN which seemed like a dream internship at the time. (Now my dream is that their 'Top 10 Plays' shows equal gender representation.)

What were your duties in Ephs Sports Information: While I can't specifically remember all the teams I covered, what I do remember is that I got a great basis for foundational sports writing - how to write a press release and cover the facts. I also remember laughing and learning a lot with the staff in Sports Info, Alumni Relations, everyone on that 4th floor in Hopkins Hall – Jo, Jim… and Tom Bleezarde is a friend to this day.  Williams opened my mind to so many different perspectives, unified by a shared sense of values, reinforced through my work and friendships in Sports Information and continuing into everything I still do today.

Favorite Eph Sports Information memory: For sure helping to cover the 1995 football game for ESPN's live broadcast of Williams – Amherst, The Biggest Little Game in America. It may have been the first live national network broadcast ever from Williams. I also loved helping to provide color commentary for the radio on-air coverage for the 1994 Men's NCAA Diving Championship hosted by Williams. For both of these events, I was given the opportunity to see the inner workings of sports coverage from print to broadcast to radio.

I also love little throw-backs like these Eph Sports Infographics that jog the amazing memories - seeing posts reminiscent of our glory days and reliving experiences that I thought were lost – it's the chord that ties me to a home that holds a beautiful piece of my heart. 

In these uncertain times, I think about what we can do to make the world better. And I think about the students - while their time at Williams this year may have ended earlier than expected, there is so much opportunity to take the good and run with it.

"We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature." – Brene Brown

FUN FACTS: Once while competing in a triathlon in Colorado, Sabrina was racing down a hill on her bike and ran smack into a bear crossing her trail. Both were stunned, neither seriously injured (although Sabrina got an impressive road rash on her back), and both were able to continue on their way.

Seven times Sabrina earned All-America diving honors and in 1997 she won the NCAA 3-meter title.