Originally from Texas, now Chicagoan, Coloradoian and now Pacific Northwest, Robyn Tenenbaum is currently Creative Director at BSSP. During her career, Robyn has worked with Nike, ESPN and most recently led several socially impactful campaigns for Blue Shield of California (BSC) – exposing gender bias in healthcare (no small feat!) to work with tennis legend Venus Williams to bring to light real stories of women being ignored, gassed, and misdiagnosed by doctors.
Avid sports fan, Robyn’s work with the giants of the sports industry has made waves in the industry. She was part of the team that worked on Nike’s Mamba Mentality Week in tribute to Kobe Bryant. She was recognized for her work with Nike highlighting female athletes and their contributions to the world of sport as part of an International Women’s Day campaign. She also helped Nike create the sports podcast The Athlete’s Mindset.
At BSSP, Robyn has been an integral part of a new campaign for ESPN which will soon be launched and which builds on last year’s One App, One Tap campaign – the new spot will feature an original rap song written by Robyn herself.
We spoke to Robyn for our Time-Out series, where we chat with people from across the sports world about their favorite sports athletes, teams, movies and shows, and their love of sports in general.
Robin, tell us…
Where you grew up and where you live now.
I grew up in Plano, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), was educated in Austin, moved to Chicago after college, then lived in Boulder, Colorado, and now I’m in Portland, Oregon. That’s a lot of places.
Your first sports memory.
I grew up in a big sports house. My dad raised my brother and I to be equal parts fans of Texas Longhorn (his graduate school alma mater) and Georgia Bulldog (my parents’ two undergraduate alma maters). Football was always on in our house. Which makes sense, because when you grow up in Texas, it’s all about football, whether it’s high school, college, or the Dallas Cowboys. I also remember going to soccer and golf camps during 100 degree summers and being so hot I wanted to quit the sport forever. Luckily, I didn’t.
Your favorite sports teams.
When I was living in Chicago, I became completely obsessed with the Cubs. This was back when they were still terrible and you could catch a game at Wrigley for about $8. My friends and I would walk or take the red line to see them lose and eat Chicago dogs and drink Old Styles.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt that about a sports team before. I liked them even though they never won. But then they got good. I hyperventilated an inch from the TV screen when they won the World Series in 2016 and screamed.
I also like the 1999 Dallas Stars team. Very specific. But if you know, you know.
Your favorite athlete.
I think it’s hard for me to choose just one. As a young golfer, I grew up idolizing Tiger Woods, of course, and also, like all the other 90s kids, MJ. But right now I really like Naomi Osaka. I think she does amazing things that transcend the sport she plays, like talking about mental health issues, women and social justice. She’s an incredible athlete, and even though she’s not at the top, she’s still a great role model for young athletes.
Your favorite sports show or podcast.
Does Ted Lasso count? But also, a shameless random take, but last year I helped Nike create, write, and record a sports podcast called The athlete’s mindset, hosted by Nike coach and trainer Ryan Flaherty and neuroscientist Dr. Steph Cacioppo. Through programmed lessons and athlete stories, the entire series examines what makes athletes great beyond just their physical abilities – it’s not speed, strength, endurance or genetics. It is the mind.