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Business of Sports: Rachel Nichols, NBA On ESPN

You may know Rachel Nichols as a well-known and respected member of the entertainment industry. She’s been in the business for more than two decades, starting with her first acting gig on an episode of Growing Pains in 1996. Since then, she’s appeared in numerous high-quality projects, including 24 and Criminal Minds.

She attended Columbia University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in art history before embarking on her career in journalism.


She took her first job at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. There, she worked as an associate producer for the Army’s “American Forces Network” before moving to Washington, D.C, where she worked as an editor for The Washington Post. Your career in sports journalism began at a newspaper. Since then, you’ve worked for a television station and ESPN before landing at CNN. Now you’re an NBA analyst on ABC News.


In addition to her work as a sports journalist and host, Rachel Nichols is also an accomplished writer. In 2016, she published her first book, Burning Your Boats: A Personal Journey of Going for Great. She has been featured in several articles on mental health and has spoken at numerous events about how she overcame depression and anxiety.


She has a knack for empowering her team by opening up about her flaws and what she’s struggled with in life, but she also acknowledges their successes and pushes them to be better than their best. The result is an environment where everyone feels like they can be honest, take risks, and grow as individuals.

It’s no surprise that Rachel Nichols has also been recognized for her work off the field—and by many publications list qualities such as “inspiring” and “passionate” when describing her leadership skillset. She continues to inspire with her positive attitude and infectious personality, which makes it easy to see why so many people want to follow in her footsteps.


Rachel Nichols is a recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award. She won the National Headliner Award for her Oklahoma City bombing trial coverage, which jury members cited as being “the most important news story in America” that year. She also won an American Women in Radio and Television Award for her work on the Oklahoma City bombing trial.

Giving Back to the Community

To this end, Nichols has established the Nichols Family Foundation, which supports women and children in need programs. The foundation focuses on mentoring young women and college students who aspire to be journalists, athletes, or broadcasters. In addition to providing financial assistance for educational scholarships, it sponsors annual conferences that bring together aspiring athletes from around the globe for networking opportunities with mentors like Nichols. Refer to this page for related information.


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