ESPN3 announcer Darren Goldwater discusses the role of social media in a sportscasting career, and which outlets are the most useful.
If you are a college student graduating this spring, now is when you need to start hitting the job market. Even more important than working hard in the job market is working smart. Here are eight tips to help you do it.
1. Start looking early
The sports broadcasting job market usually takes at least three months, even for the best broadcasters. Therefore, it is smart to start looking early in your final semester of college.
Alan Horton, voice of the Minnesota Timberwolves, shares his tips for staying healthy during the busy winter broadcasting season.
Bill Wanless, VP of Public Relations for the PawSox, shares the types of things that set a sportscasting candidate apart when talent is equal.
Studies have found that it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression when viewing your website. Make sure the website you’ve designed for your sports broadcasting career pursuits is making a positive impression on employers.
You don’t need to be a professional web designer to have an effective personal website. Use STAA’s tips to ensure you’re making the best possible first impression on potential sportscasting employers.
Several years ago, an affiliated minor league baseball team contacted me for help in identifying candidates for their vacant play-by-play and media-relations position. We had one STAA client who I was especially excited to present to the team based upon his skill and experience. I was stunned by this team GM’s reply: “I won’t hire anyone from independent baseball.”
While this attitude is overwhelmingly the exception rather than the rule, it isn’t the only time an affiliated team GM has said such a thing to me. When I finally asked one of them why they felt so strongly about it, he told me he felt some independent teams were encroaching upon Major League Baseball by putting teams in Major League markets. These GMs missed the opportunity to add folks who could have contributed greatly to the success of their organizations.
When I was in my first job in McPherson, KS, I did football play-by-play for a small NAIA school, Bethany College. One October afternoon, the Swedes had a game up the road in Salina at Kansas Wesleyan. As was my habit, I arrived at the stadium two hours early. I liked taking my time to set-up my broadcast location, review my notes, record my pre-game coaches interview, then relax before going on the air. Today, though, was different.
When I plugged in my phone jack (yes – we broadcast using telephone land lines back in the day), I heard the last thing a broadcaster ever wants to hear in that situation.
I heard nothing.
(Editor’s note: Since the original publication of this post, a premier alternative to four-year schools has emerged — STAA University. If you want a sports broadcasting education that will rival any in the country but don’t have the time or money for a four year school, STAA U is worth a look.)
Three of the toughest choices you’ll make in life are your spouse, your first round fantasy football pick and where you will attend college to pursue your sports broadcasting career. I can’t help you with the first two, but I certainly can with the third.
Two things to look for when choosing where to pursue your sports broadcasting career:
- A broadcasting curriculum – even better if there is a sports broadcasting emphasis.
- A campus radio and/or TV station. You need a place to hone your skills.
There is no arguing that Syracuse University is the crème de la crème for sports broadcasting. Just ask them! (Just kidding. The program really is that good.)
In my experience with STAA, I have seen the following schools also turn out sports broadcasters who are unusually well prepared for the job market (They are in no particular order, so don’t yell at me if your school isn’t near the top of the list.) With that in mind, here’s my list.
Dave Rothenberg, sports talk host at ESPN New York, advises young sportscasters to be ready to make sacrifices for your career.
Freelance TV sportscaster Mary Jo Perino on why football is the toughest area for female sportscasters to gain credibility, and how to overcome that perception.