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 critical. You should 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 advertisers segment ideas relevant to them

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 call of a great play from the previous contest. A 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.

Determining your number of pregame segments is simple math

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.

Photo credit: Shoshanah via photopin cc


  1. Schwartz with Sports

    Jon, Regarding pre-game sponsorships. A year ago, when I was Sports Director in another market – we had the following sponsors: Introduction of Officials, sponsored by a local convenience store chain, with the live read saying “you always make the right call when you stop at _____before or after the game.” The Starting Lineups were sponsored by a local coffee shop, with the live read saying “get your day off to a great start at ___ with one of your favorite beverages”. After the Key to the Game locksmith dropped his sponsorship, we had a financial advisor, with the live read saying “let ____ of _____ help you find the key to your financial future”. (of course an auto dealer makes sense here also). Game start time and temperature was a heating and A/C company: “it was ____ when we started, and the temperature was ____. Time and temperature is brought to you by ______where it’s always 72 degrees, with 24 hour emergency service”. Half-time and post-game stats were sponsored by an accounting firm, when they decided on a full sponsorship in the games, they dropped the sponsorship, so we got someone a little out of the ordinary, a fitness club: “the numbers are brought to you by ____, if you don’t like the numbers you’re seeing, like cholesterol, blood pressure or weight, stop at ______ and let Justin and the staff show you their membership options”.


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