Earlier this year, FOX Deportes added Daniella López Guajardo as the lead play-by-play announcer for the games, becoming one of the first women in México to hold such a position. FOX Deportes has the rights in the United States to broadcast games for Rayadas de Monterrey, Tijuana, and Santos Laguna, and López Guajardo spoke with FMF State of Mind last week about her path and Liga MX Femenil in general.
López Guajardo is originally from Torreón, and after stints with TV Azteca Laguna, Televisa Deportes, and then Univisión Deportes she joined FOX in 2019. There she started as a sideline reporter for Rayados de Monterrey and Tijuana (men’s) teams, and then the following year FOX got the rights to broadcast the games for Santos Laguna.
“I got lucky that FOX put on Santos games,” she tells me, because being from Torreón she already knew the team well. “I know every detail about them. I go to every single game, and I’m there with them... I (can get) interviews, I can see them training. I have like, a very good inside (angle) with with Santos,”
Then this year, López Guajardo was offered the play-by-play position for Liga MX Femenil matches. Already an analyst for the Liga MX Femenil games, she accepted. “I said yes. When opportunities knock on your door, you have to take it.”
“So I took that opportunity, and (began) preparing myself every single day. I know it’s hard (doing) play by play,” she says. But the preparation has paid off. López Guajardo admits it’s taken a bit to get comfortable in the role, but recognizes that’s just part of the job.
”Everyone that is a play-by-play narrator,” she says, “they started from the bottom. And with time, they got better and better. And then they got (their) own style. So that’s the goal for me to make my (own) style.”
López Guajardo lists Emilio Fernando Alonso, Enrique “Perro” Bermúdez, and David Medrano as broadcasters that she’s looked up to in her career, citing their expansive knowledge of the game for their popularity in both México and the United States. “They know every single detail,” she says.
“So I’m preparing myself,” she continues. ”I’m here every single day. I see games all the time. I love Liga MX Femenil. I appreciate the effort (from) every girl who is on the field. I know it’s a big responsibility for me to be the voice of all the women there, and the official voice for FOX Deportes.”
The fact that she’s one of the very few women in México to be a play-by-play announcer is not lost on López Guajardo. “For me being a woman, it’s very important to me to make sure that every single woman that wants to be here has an opportunity.”
“So I began raising my hand. I began telling everyone that I want to do something else (and) that I want to prepare myself to do another thing. That’s why I got the opportunity here at FOX Deportes.”
While correlation doesn’t equal causation, representation in spaces like broadcasting and journalism matters. According to FOX, over a million viewers have tuned into Liga MX Femenil games since the beginning of 2022 on FOX Deportes (this includes live, delayed and encore presentations), which is nearly double the total number of viewers all of 2021 when the network had 529,000 viewers for games. And the numbers just keep going up. Ratings for the current season are up 24% over last season. López Guajardo’s presence and visibility calling games is sure to convince others to raise their hands in order to follow in her footsteps.
López Guajardo isn’t only blazing a path for herself however, she is also helping to forge one for the players in a young league. “The challenge for me is to (help be) the voice of what they need.”
“Some of them are moms, single moms, some of them leave home, (leave their) parents and live alone. They sacrifice a lot. So that was a surprise for me to see women making their own path for success.”
“They travel a lot,” she continues, pointing out the disparities between how most clubs market their men’s team versus how they market their women’s team. “They (need to) make a lot of effort to make more marketing for them,” in order to draw more attention to the women’s teams. “So that’s one of the challenges is to change that.”
López Guajardo however is up for the challenge, touting what makes the league such a joy to watch. “They play every single game with all their hearts. They leave everything on the field. It’s amazing to see these girls giving all of (themselves) in every single game.” Even for those that can’t make it physically to the stadium, these players are worth their time and attention. “We have to pay more attention to them,” she says.