The San Francisco 49ers, longtime leaders in advancing opportunities for women in professional sports, have announced they will begin a fellowship to honor one of America's top executives.
President and CEO Jed York introduced the Denise DeBartolo York Fellowship to honor his mother, a professional sports pioneer.
The Denise DeBartolo York Fellowship is a 12-month entry level position in the 49ers marketing department. The organization will recruit and solicit applications from talented and driven women interested in a career in the National Football League.
"I have been very blessed to be raised by a strong and talented mother who has led two professional sports franchises," said York. "I'm proud of her many accomplishments and as an organization it's fitting we create opportunities like this as a tribute to her."
Denise York started her career in professional sports with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL. As team president, she transformed the downtrodden franchise into a Stanley Cup Champion in 1991.
Since taking ownership of the 49ers franchise in 2000, Denise and husband, John, have been Bay Area leaders in community projects and philanthropic causes. The 49ers Foundation has donated more than $10 million since 2002. York holds NFL leadership positions, including serving on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Committee and she helps oversee the League's on-going support of museums that pay tribute to NFL legends. She has been named as one of the most powerful women in sports by Forbes' Magazine. Among her contributions include a $500,000 endowment for women's athletics at Youngstown State and she continues to give generously toward sports programs for young people at Cardinal Mooney High School.
"We are very fortunate to work in an organization with such an amazing leader. The 49ers and NFL have benefited from her talents, hard work and commitment," said Director of Marketing Ali Towle. "We are seeking candidates who embody the spirit and passion that Mrs. York has exuded during her tremendous career. Candidates must demonstrate the qualities of Mrs. York and the San Francisco 49ers: leadership, integrity and concern for the community."
The recipient will spend a 12-month term working in the 49ers marketing department tackling a variety of projects. The Fellow will be given ownership of projects, based on her specific career interests, in either the discipline of advertising, event management, game day presentation, or youth marketing.
The York and DeBartolo families have had a long history of honoring women. The 49ers training facility and team headquarters are named for Marie Patricia Montani DeBartolo, Denise DeBartolo York's mother.
Those interested in applying for the Denise DeBartolo York Fellowship can do so through the TeamWork Online web site.