Ally's Stephanie Marciano on Investing in Women's Sports and Elevating Inclusivity
This edition of Time-Out is presented by Ally.
Stephanie Marciano is the head of sports and entertainment for Ally Financial. She joined Ally in 2021, leading the brand's growing portfolio of sports, music and hometown partnerships inclusive of Ally Racing, Charlotte FC, National Women's Soccer League, and a variety of brand ambassadors. She helped develop and deploy Ally's recent brand act—a 50/50 pledge to invest equally across women's and men's media and drive fundamental change in the sports landscape.
Prior to Ally, Steph helped lead consulting divisions at CSM and Ascendent Sports Group—advising brands like Peloton, Coca-Cola, TikTok, Remitly and Unilever on their global sport and music strategies. While at both agencies, she worked on projects with Ally across the brand's soccer and motorsports initiatives. Steph earned her B.A. from Yale, M.S. from Columbia. While at Yale, she captained the women's basketball team. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and son.
We spoke with Stephanie for our Time-Out series, where we chat with folks in the sports world about their favorite athletes, teams, sports movies and shows, and their love of sports generally.
Stephanie, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in New Jersey. I've bounced around a bit for college and jobs—with stints in CT, PA, CA and Germany—but I'm back in NJ now living with my family.
Your earliest sports memory.
I was 6 years old, playing basketball in the boy's rec league at the local community center.
Your favorite sports team.
Your favorite athlete.
Your favorite sports show or podcast.
Your favorite sports movie and/or video game.
Rudy is at the top of the list. I’m a 5'3 point guard, so I love seeing Rudy make it!
A recent project you're proud of.
Designing our recent collaboration with Disney, ESPN & ACC that allocated 90 percent of Ally's investment toward women's sports. I'm also proud of our recent NASCAR partnership that focuses on continuing to elevate the fan experience and advance inclusivity in racing.
Someone else's project that you admired recently.
I was happy to see Adobe join the NWSL family this year as an official partner. Their brand building workshops for NWSL players and "Creator Class" for emerging women creators are great platforms that will continue to elevate female voices across the country. At Ally, we're big believers in the creator economy and providing independent artists with the tools needed for financial success.
What sports can do that nothing else can.
Sports break down barriers, bring people together and inspire generations. Basketball provided me with the tools to lead, to listen, to lift others up and to work to get a little bit better every day.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the sports world.
I would have pursued architecture or interior design. That's a big pivot, but I enjoy spaces that are thoughtfully designed to bring people joy and peace.