How to Apply

2024 Awards

The Jim Nantz Award winner receives the Jim Nantz Trophy, one year of STAA Membership, and accommodations and admission to the annual National Sports Media Association Awards in North Carolina.

The next five highest ranked individuals are named STAA All-Americans. Each receives three free months of STAA membership, a certificate of achievement, and the prestige and exposure that come with being recognized by STAA as one of the nation’s top young sports broadcasters.

The 2024 award winner is tentatively scheduled to be announced on Friday May 24th. The trophy will be presented at the NSMA’s awards banquet on June 24th.

Application period

Applications for the 2024 Jim Nantz Award will be accepted from March 29th, 2024 until 5 pm Eastern Time on April 5th. Late applications will not be accepted, even if “my video took longer to process than I expected.”  (We hear that one a lot, haha).

Who is eligible

Applicants must be enrolled in a two year or four year college or university in the United States, as of February 1, 2024. Sportscasters do not have to be an STAA member to be eligible. Non-STAA members are strongly encourage to submit their work and are promised to earn equal consideration.

Graduate students and former Jim Nantz Award winners are not eligible.

What to submit

One of the things that makes Jim Nantz great is his expertise in multiple sports. He is synonymous with the Super Bowl, The Masters and the Final Four. Therefore, your Jim Nantz Award application must include demonstration of your ability to cover at least two sports.

Submissions should total 10-to-15 minutes. They can include any of the following:

  • Play-by-play
  • Sports update anchoring (radio)
  • Studio anchoring (TV)
  • Reporting (stand-ups and pre-recorded radio and TV packages)
  • Interviewing
  • Sports talk show hosting or podcasting

Limit one mp3 and/or one video per applicant.

What not to submit

There are some roles for which a college student or recent grad is unlikely to be hired. Therefore, we ask that you not submit the following . . .

  • Broadcast opens — TV, radio or any other kind. We added this guideline in 2022. If you’re good enough to win the Jim Nantz Award, we know you can do an open. We want to see demonstrations of your more difficult skills.
  • Pardon the Interruption-type TV discussion shows. These opportunities are generally filled by established media pros.
  • Studio analysis/ X’s and O’s segments showing a a team beat a zone or a blitz. These positions are typically filled by big-name players and coaches.
  • “Walking” interviews where you and a guest do some variation of Five Questions while walking across a field or court. Theses interviews generally look the same: fluff questions and no follow-ups.

Also avoid . . .

  • Multiple play-by-play samples of the same sport, even if one is audio and the other video.
  • Dramatic late game play-by-play sequences. Anyone can make those sound exciting.
  • Samples featuring you and more than one other person talking. There’s likely not enough of you to evaluate. We want your greatness to shine.

Additional instructions

  • Play-by-play samples should be at least four continuous, unedited minutes for each sport. DO NOT SEND HIGHLIGHTS.
  • Sports talk samples should be at least four minutes and must not include more than one co-host.
  • Interviews should be in their entirety, not just your questions.

Enough do’s & don’ts — here’s how to apply

  1. Upload one mp3 and/or one video file, as explained above, to the Internet (website, SoundCloud, DropBox, YouTube, Vimeo, etc).
  2. Click here to submit your demos and information.

The judging

All-Americans are selected by the staff at STAA and a rotating panel of other industry professionals. Evaluations are based upon a variety of fundamentals, and ultimately, entertainment value. Over the years, judges have included Tom Boman, Learfield Sports Broadcast Manager; Mark Boyle, Indiana Pacers; Wes Durham, Atlanta Falcons & Georgia Tech University; Chris Ferris, VP-Broadcast Division IMG, Paul Keels, Cincinnati Reds & Ohio State University; Bob Licht, New Orleans Hornets; and Bill Roth, Virginia Tech University.

Like many rankings, the STAA Top 20 is subjective. Unlike college football or basketball rankings, we don’t have won-loss records and strength of schedule comparisons to make our evaluations any easier. Anyone who was not evaluated as favorably as they would have hoped should not be discouraged in any way. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What are the judges looking for in my reel?
A: Entertainment!  It’s as easy as ABC:

Authenticity: We value authenticity over acting; personality over performers.

Basics: Have strong fundamentals, including voice, pacing and inflection.

Creativity: Be different and memorable through personality, presentation and/or polish.

Whatever you do, don’t be boring.

Q: Can I receive a critique of my application?

A: We do not provide critiques.

Q: What is a “continuous” sample of play-by-play?
A: Continuous means unedited. Do, however, remove commercial breaks.

Q: I applied last year. Do I need to re-submit audio and/or video?
A: It would most certainly be wise to submit new material. It is logical that you are a better sports broadcaster today than last year.

Q: Will only candidates on the “pre-season” Watch List be considered for the Nantz Trophy and All-America consideration?
A: Not at all. We fully anticipate meeting many collegiate sportscasters for the first time who will be more than worthy of consideration for these awards.

Q: Does the audio and/or video we submit have to be from our university?
A: It does not. While the audio/video can be from broadcasts aired on your campus radio station, it can also be high school games, minor league sports, podcasts and even samples you simply record on your home computer.

Q: I am graduating in December. Am I still eligible?
A: No. Candidates must be current college students. Candidates must be enrolled in college as of February 1st of the award year.