NFL agent Savannah Foster with San Diego Chargers Safety Derwin James, at SoFl Stadium, 2020. Courtesy photo from Forbes

The NFL recently made history by including down judge Sarah Thomas as a Super Bowl official, making her the first woman to officiate the big game. It’s one more example of how women have been taking enormous strides toward integrating themselves into the male-dominated industry.

UofL alumna Savannah Foster (’07) is part of the trailblazing women who are making a name for themselves in professional sports. Foster is vice president of client relations for Athletes First, a sports agency that specializes in NFL representation.

Foster, who helps negotiate player contracts, recently told Forbes Magazine about her experiences as an NFL agent and the evolution of the NFL to include more women.

Foster said attending a seminar with a nearly all-male audience at the NFL Combine a few years ago illustrated the lack of women in the field.

“There were maybe four or five women peppered around the room, but that’s when it hit me in the face that were not a lot of women doing in this,” she told Forbes. “But I think we’re gaining a ton of momentum. For example, in 2020 at the NFL Draft, there were four women agents representing a first round pick. The NFL is definitely becoming a more friendly environment for women. There are women refs and some coaches, I hope it will continue to go up from here.”

While she’s now completely engrossed in the game, the passion for her career began with collegiate athletics. While an undergrad at UofL, Foster worked for the president’s office where she got to travel to the College World Series, NCAA Tournament and the Orange Bowl.

“And after those great opportunities, decided I wanted to be somewhere where I could be a successful sports agent,” Foster said.

Prior to working with Athletes First, Foster worked for the San Diego Padres and the Upper Deck Company while completing her education at California Western School of Law.

Read more of Foster’s interview with Forbes.


Idaya Gager is a graduate assistant in the Office of Communications and Marketing. She earned a bachelor’s degree from UofL in May 2020 and is now working on her Master of Arts in Communication. After graduation, her career plans include going into public relations and/or marketing in collegiate athletics.