(January 24, 2018) The biggest thing Jason Kempf has tried to do throughout his sportscasting career is meet as many people as possible. Now, Kempf is taking his people skills to Quad Cities where he is the new Director of Broadcasting/Media Relations for the River Bandits.
“I first found about a potential opening with the River Bandits because of STAA’s job alert e-mail in October,” says Kempf. “I had always heard great things about the organization and the Quad Cities as a whole so my interest was immediately peaked.”
Kempf moves to Quad Cities after two summers as the No. 2 with the Dayton Dragons.
“The experience I gained and the connections I made during [my time in Dayton] were crucial,” says Kempf. The Dragons front office helped me initially get on the River Bandits’ radar. Then, with more help from Dragons Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations Tom Nichols, the process moved quickly.”
Kempf believes that networking is the most important thing a person can do to build a sportscasting career. “Whenever I have the chance to interact with another broadcaster, I ask questions and genuinely take an interest in getting to know them better. Any relationships you can build with front office members, fans, ushers, media members, food service staff, etc. could be beneficial down the road in ways you never expected.”
Earning a No. 1 job in affiliated baseball is especially impressive for Kempf because he started his career in independent ball. The transition is not unheard of, but it is sometimes complicated by resentment that some affiliated executives have for indy league teams they feel encroach upon Major and Minor League “territory.” Kempf’s independent league experience first came with the Saint Paul Saints, then with the Wichiga Wingnuts.
“While in Wichita, I was hopeful that being a broadcast/media relations professional in a large market would be enough experience to translate into a similar job in the affiliated ranks someday. I still think there was a chance it could have happened if the right circumstances arose. However, I believed that I needed to get experience with the formatting of an MiLB website and working with a parent club in order to give myself the best chance to reach my goals.”
Kempf adds that wouldn’t trade the experiences and lessons learned in Wichita for anything.
It was just one month after joining STAA that Kempf landed the Wichita job. “STAA provides a great environment for learning how to put together a demo and what to include,” he says. “In addition, there are countless tidbits on what to do and what not to do while searching for the next opportunity in broadcasting. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the assistance of STAA.”
(Visit Jason’s STAA Talent Page).