Choose Your Pregame Segments With Money in Mind

When play-by-play broadcasters ask me what segments their pregame show should include, I tell them to think less about content and more about sponsorable segments. The more money your show can bring in, the more your sales staff will love you and the more job security you will have.

I hosted pre game shows in two markets — McPherson, KS and San Diego, CA. The formula worked equally well in both places.

Typically, pregame shows include some combination of the following segments:

  • A brief preview of today’s game
  • A review of the previous game, including highlights
  • Player profile
  • League scoreboard
  • An in-depth look at today’s opponent
  • A detailed look at today’s matchup
  • Coaches interview
  • Final thoughts

Most of the segments aren’t really critical. You should probably always have a preview of today’s game and a coach’s interview. What you have after that is based upon what you can sell.

Present potential advertisers a segment idea that would be logical for them to sponsor.
Instead of asking your local jeweler if they want to sponsor a segment in your pregame show, ask them if they want to sponsor “The Gem of the Game” featuring your play-by-play call of a great play from the previous contest. Your local locksmith could sponsor “Keys to the Game.”

The number of sponsors determines the number of segments. More sponsors, more segments. I hosted the Chargers pregame show for several years in the mid-90s. We had the first three-hour pregame show in the NFL. We did it because we had the sponsors.

Once you know how many sponsors you have, determining how many segments you need in your pregame comes down to simple math:

Number of pregame sponsors / 2 = Number of segments

If you are in a small town, you probably want each break in your pregame to be at least 60-seconds. Therefore, take your number of total pregame sponsors, divide it by two, and that is how many segments you need in your show. Anything more than that is up to you.

What are some of your favorite creative pregame segments? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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