Taylor Rooks, Joy Taylor

Taylor Rooks and Joy Taylor Discuss Being Each Other’s ‘Dreammate’ As Black Women In The Sports Industry 

Love seeing Black women in high places....on and off the field!

Sports broadcasters Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks are touching on being each other’s “Dreammates” and leading Black women in sports during a new campaign with Rocket Mortgage.

Two of football’s favorites partnered with the mortgage company as the official mortgage partner of the 2024 NFL Draft to advocate for those dreaming of homeownership with the “Dreammate” campaign. Rocket Mortgage’s Senior Vice President of Brand Experiences and Strategic Partnerships Casey Hurbis said the campaign aims “to create hope, inspiration, and generational impact,” something the company has been doing for close to 40 years, according to a press release provided to BE. 

The creative campaign stars the powerful duo as Dreammates to celebrate the support system they’ve created while on the journey to breaking industry standards and achieving goals, like becoming a first-time homeowner or getting that phone call naming someone as a member of your favorite NFL team.

“It is so incredibly important to have a dreammate in your life. Because she is so important for me in that role, we just understand each other,” Rooks told Black Enterprise about her friendship with Taylor. 

“We’ve gone through so many of the same things. We are still currently going through the same things. So when you talk about these difficulties in our industry and in our lives in general, to be able to pick up the phone and call Joy and say ‘this is what I’m dealing with, how have you dealt with this? How are you feeling?’”

In the campaign, Rooks said women not being in higher positions of power in sports is not because they can’t but more so they aren’t given the chance, one reason she feels she and Taylor are so important in the sports space. “Which is why people like you and I are so important in the business because we have the visibility that we have as women and as Black women,” Taylor said. 

“You can’t just be good. You have to be really good at your job.”

That’s a great feeling that not all women in sports leadership have. An April 2024 report from McKinsey found women in sports administration are less likely than women in other industries to have sponsors who may assist with guiding them through their careers or advocating for them. It also revealed that women in the sports industry are more likely to feel they have the proper skill set to progress.

The hosts of the “Two Personal” podcast were front and center during all the action at the recent NFL Draft, hosted in Detroit on April 27, where the lives of more than 250 men changed instantly. But before the besties became co-hosts of ESPN’s Speak and reporters for Thursday Night Football and Bleacher Report, Taylor and Rooks worked diligently to overcome obstacles to get where they are and acknowledged not being able to do it alone.

Celebrating her mother–who “has a very unique pushing style–as her first “dreammate,” Taylor defined her ideal dreammate as someone who truly knows you best, like her podcast co-host. “I think when you have a dreammate that really knows you, somebody that really knows you… when you have someone in your life the way my mother was to me and like Taylor is for me now, that cares enough about you not just to push you in a way that’s not expected, that moment always sticks out to me as a memory,” Taylor said.

Rooks shared similar sentiments about the relationship with her father, pinpointing him as one of the main reasons for her love for football and the draft. The sports broadcaster says one of her favorite moments of the draft is seeing the joy on the parents’ faces, realizing all the hard work and sacrifice was for their child to be able to experience the moment of the draft. “My dad, one of his No. 1 goals in his life was to make sure I was never short on confidence,” Rooks said. 

“Every day, he would write me a letter every single morning, ending every single one with ‘you can do whatever you put your mind to.’ So, I always had this incredibly steadfast belief that whenever I thought I could do something, I’d go to do it. That’s what a dreammate is.” 

During the draft, fans who used the hashtag #RocketDreammate assisted the company, headquartered in the home of Motown, in making a $10 contribution to Habitat for Humanity, with a goal of $250,000, to help deserving Americans realize the dream of homeownership become a reality.