Every day, when we wake up, we’re given another opportunity to grow in some facet or another. When we are children, our growth is more physical; and as we become adults, it’s our mental growth that usually receives the most nourishment. For UNC women’s lacrosse attacker Jamie Ortega, her mindset is always focused on constantly growing, but her growth is not limited to just the physical or the mental. Jamie is learning that she is able to grow in business, networking, aspirations, and women’s influence in the modern age.
As the first female lacrosse athlete to take advantage of the new Name Image and Likeness rules (NIL) that allow NCAA athletes to earn compensation from the use of their endorsement, Jamie Ortega has increased her ability to be financially benefitted. But more importantly, Jamie expanded the spectrum of opportunities for her growth as “Jamie Ortega” beyond lacrosse and UNC. And now, Jamie plans to make her name one that is known for more than just finding the back of the net on game-day. Soon, people are going to be wearing Ortega clothes, thinking an Ortega mindset, and realizing that they could be the next “Ortega” to revolutionize an aspect of their own sport.
Stringers Society Tends Our Mental Garden with Jamie Ortega
We were lucky enough to speak to Jamie Ortega about her recent deal with Epoch lacrosse and how it has changed her day-to-day life as a college athlete; and being able to speak with her directly ‘spoke’ volumes of her true authenticity. While Jamie may be an elite division one athlete inking deals with one of the biggest brands in her sport, she’s happy to chat with anyone in the lacrosse community trying to help the sport. And Jamie’s just like any other college student with dreams and ambitions that align with their chosen major, she just so happens to be one of the most fearsome scorers in the nation.
Her success and standout performances with the Tar Heels, along with the changes in legislation allowing for NIL deals, has now opened doors for Jamie that used to be just a dream. And as a communications major with an interest in marketing, teaming up with Epoch has given her the freedom to pursue chances to grow her own brand in a capacity that was never possible before. One of the first things we discussed with Jamie was how she was able to transition the brand affiliate of her own lacrosse team into becoming her NIL partner. This is a dream-come-true situation for so many athletes across the country, and she is living it right now. So we decided to get Jamie to share some advice to help others grow into living their own lacrosse dreams one day.
#1 Rule of Great Growth: Keep It Simple Stupid
The “Jamie Ortega and Epoch Lacrosse Deal” was a true no brainer for Jamie after she began using their lacrosse sticks during her sophomore year when UNC and Epoch first partnered together. The Epoch Lacrosse team, behind CEO James Miceli, has constantly been working with the UNC women’s lacrosse team to outfit them with the highest quality and most player centric equipment available. And that attention to detail with the care that Epoch puts into their products made Jamie a true believer in the process and purpose of Epoch Lacrosse. Stepping into a new role with Epoch was just a way for her to take something she already loved and become closer to the team behind that appreciation.
# 2 Rule of Great Growth: Take Advantage of Open Pastures
Being given the opportunity to work with Epoch lacrosse then became more than just a way for Jamie to make some extra money, it became a way for her to leave her mark on the lacrosse industry and athletics as a whole. It’s no secret that the big push for NIL deals to become available was for the benefit of male football and basketball athletes; however, this wasn’t going to stop Jamie from seizing the chance to grow as an individual. All things considered, the only difference for Jamie is that women’s lacrosse doesn’t receive the same level of exposure that these other sports do. Good thing that the best way to fix that is to have a talented and ambitious women’s lacrosse athlete shoot for the stars and inspire tons of young lacrosse players out there – and Jamie Ortega is planning to do just that.
Now that Jamie and Epoch are inked and ready to roll, the sky is truly the limit. They have plans for taking Jamie’s input into the design process for the new generation of women’s lacrosse advancements and Epoch’s future in the athletic apparel industry. And this was a huge factor that made Epoch such an easy choice for Jamie, they are genuinely interested in her being a member of their progression and not a prop for advertisements. In a more active role, Jamie is able to experience growth and become a more dynamic person. Just because lacrosse is a life-long passion, it doesn’t mean we all are going to be able to play it professionally or do so forever. Jamie’s plans with Epoch involve reaching beyond the limits of “lacrosse” with her brand to be a totally fulfilling experience for her that will hopefully inspire plenty of young women to do the same.
#3 Rule of Great Growth: Even Gardeners & Farmers Need Watering
Each day only has 24 hours, and depending on where you live, it can be hard to get a full days work in before the sun goes down. But Jamie knows that the limits of daylight, much like the limits of our attention and ferocity, can wain for good reason. There are times in her life when lacrosse can not be the absolute priority, and that’s because it doesn’t need to be. Jamie loves trying new recipes, and she’ll never be able to master the culinary arts if she’s always on a lacrosse field. It’s important for Jamie to spend time with her family, and she’s the only one named “Ortega” on the UNC roster; although her sister did play at Notre Dame. And one thing that Jamie has found she enjoys is taking long walks by herself, and lacrosse is the fastest game on two feet.
All of that is good for Jamie to be doing because as the say, all lax and no play makes Jamie a dull All-American highlight machine. Lacrosse as a “life-time” sport does not make it all of your life’s time, and that’s what can let Jamie be the woman Jamie wants to be. Some quality time away from the game tending to her mental garden, sowing seeds of imagination, and watering thoughts of expression and creativity is how one can transcend out of a rut and into a route towards excellence. Taking these new approaches, trying new things, and accepting new challenges, when the time is right, has given Jamie a path towards making a difference in her life, and the lives of others, with the NIL rules opening a door that leads anywhere she wants.
Awaiting the Bountiful Harvest
It’s no secret that Epoch and Jamie have big plans ahead of them that the lacrosse community can expect in the coming seasons, but the chance to work with Epoch is a reward that Jamie will hopefully reap for years to come. In terms of growth, Epoch itself is looking to branch into new technologies all the time, and Jamie is eager to grow into industries she hasn’t had the chance to learn from. This may be a match made in heaven, but it also doesn’t need to be. There will be other ridiculously talented women’s lacrosse players to come along, and Jamie will one day stop playing lacrosse at a competitive level. That doesn’t mean they need to stop their relationship or that they can’t move onto to amazing new opportunities on their own. But Jamie getting the chance to become more educated, motivated, and empowered from her relationship with Epoch will give her a stepping stone into almost any industry she chooses, and Epoch will get the chance to learn exactly how to cater to elite NIL athletes for the future of this uncharted territory.
Everybody seems to be growing in their own way and getting a chance to be put in a position to win with the Jamie Ortega and Epoch Lacrosse deal, but we really see ourselves as the real winners. We at Stringers Society have had the opportunity to work with Jamie and Epoch to tell their stories and, hopefully, entertain some of you fine people in the lacrosse community. So we’d like to thank you all for helping, reading, and being a part of this experience of growth into the great unknown of NIL deals in the lacrosse world.