SCP 10: How to cold contact sportscasting employers

I am a long-time supporter of the cold contact method for finding a sports broadcasting job. Cold contacting is a more efficient plan to get a job versus only applying for published openings.

cold-contacting

You don’t have to simply take my word on the effectiveness of cold contacting. Justin Antweil landed his current play-by-play job at Bucknell University by putting together a cold contact plan and following through with his strategy. In this podcast episode Justin shares his strategy and how it lead to Bucknell.

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The wonderful folks I met at the Winter Meetings

A news report today said that 70 million pictures are uploaded to Instagram every day. I’m kicking myself that, after spending 10 hours at the Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego on Monday, not one of the 70 million pictures uploaded that day was from me. However, that was the only negative in an otherwise ultra-memorable day.

winter-meetings-2014

Here are some of the highlights:

Shawn Tiemann
When I first went into business for myself in January 2004, I was building demo and resume packages for sports broadcasters. Shawn was my second client ever and has been a member for most of the time since. He didn’t know me and I didn’t have any kind of track record but he trusted me. I will always be grateful. Finally, after nearly 11 years, I got to thank Shawn in person for the first time.

Bill Harrington
When Bill smiles, you can’t help but also smile. He smiles with his whole face. Happiest smile ever.
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Three things we’re grateful for

Is it a bit on the nose to devote this week’s blog post to a few things the STAA team is thankful for? Probably, but we’ll keep it quick.

Photo credit: rustiqueart via photopin cc
Photo credit: rustiqueart via photopin cc

1. Our Members
We love having a front-row seat to watch your sportscasting careers progress. Our passion is for helping people, every victory for you is a win for us. We’re grateful for your support and the opportunity to work with you!

2. An STAA University Secret
There is a major development for STAA University, about which an announcement is forthcoming. I wish I could share all the details right now, but alas, it must remain Top Secret for now. Suffice it to say we’re so excited about it, we couldn’t resist teasing you a little!

3. Family
Whether your family is the one that you were born into, the ones you chose, or a mix of both, people are what matters most in life. At STAA, we’re grateful that each of us have awesome, supportive people in our lives. We hope you have the same.

What are you grateful for this year? Tell us in the comments below!

Constructing a TV demo

Roy Philpott, ESPN TV Play-by-Play Broadcaster and Voice of Clemson U. women’s basketball and baseball, talks about what and how he builds his TV PBP demo.

Non-traditional ways to start your sportscasting career

radio studioThe traditional path to a sports broadcasting career might not be for you.

The common route is to earn a degree from a four-year school, start in a small market, and work your way up. That is certainly the most reliable path.

But it isn’t the only path.

If you don’t have the time or money for four years of school, take a sports broadcasting curriculum at a local community college. Just be sure to choose a school that has a campus radio station. You’ll want the on-air reps for your demo and resume.

Here are three additional game plans you can try:
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SCP 08: Overcoming the emotional challenges of your sportscasting career

Recently, I asked STAA clients what they wanted me to blog about. The No.1 reply was regarding the emotional challenges of the sportscasting job market — wondering if you’re good enough to achieve your goals.

We’ve all been there at one time or another.

success-squeeze

Instead of writing my own thoughts on the topic, I wanted to bring other voices into the conversation. I interviewed a program director and a play-by-play broadcaster — Aaron Matthews from Ohio and Don Wadewitz from Wisconsin. In the interview, they candidly discuss their own frustrations — both with the job market and the career.

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All sportscasting job seekers can learn from this story

email

There is a lot to be learned in the following story.

An employer contacted me last fall looking for someone to do play-by-play for high school and small college sports in his community. I gave him contact info for three people — let’s call them Andrew Roth, Mitchell North and Kevin Black.

Here is the follow-up information the employer shared with me via email:

Once again thank you for giving me the announcer leads. Andrew Roth is now the play-by-play announcer for [high School name] Football on XXXX. His third broadcast is this Friday.

Some stuff that may be of interest to you:

  • All three were sent e-mails Monday morning, September 16 within a 10 minute span.
  • Andrew was the first to get back to me later that afternoon.
  • Mitchell North got back to me on Wednesday, September 18.
  • No reply from Kevin Black (small chance reply was deleted by filter)
  • Andrew supplied me with his STAA link where I could look at his resume and listen to a football demo.

Andrew got the job because he responded quickly, and presented me with access to demo materials to make a decision (STAA link). He is in line to sub for XXXXX on an upcoming broadcast of [local small college] football. I plan on calling on Andrew beyond the football season, getting some games for other high school teams in his area of [town].

I’d consider contacting Mitchell North in the future if we need another [local] announcer. At this juncture, I’d have to cross Kevin Black off my list.

Here are the two things I hope folks takeaway from this story:

1. It is courteous, smart and professional to reply to employers who contact you, even if you aren’t interested in the immediate opening.

2. The timeliness of your reply is a reflection of your interest in a position, whether you intend it to be that way or not.

How to be critical of your team

There’s a fine line that shouldn’t be crossed when criticizing the team you’re representing on the air. Atlanta Hawks broadcaster Bob Rathbun shares his rule for being critical of your team.