(February 29, 2016) Luke Tanaka was interested in play-by-play opportunities in the Frontier baseball league. He called a friend who is a broadcaster in the league, seeking information on potential leads. When a job finally opened, Tanaka’s friend recommended him for the position and Tanaka is the new Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Florence Freedom.
Tanaka replaces fellow STAA member Aaron Morse, who left for a broadcasting and assistant sports information director position with Bates College in Maine.
“My goal for this season was to break into professional baseball as a No. 1 broadcaster, and to be working with the 2015 Frontier League Organization of the Year is a huge honor,” says Tanaka
Working for the Freedom will provide Tanaka with the chance to grow in several areas. “The 96-game season is a great opportunity to hone my craft, while added media relations and sales responsibilities will give me invaluable experience.”
A 2015 graduate of Elmhurst (IL) College, Tanaka spent last summer as a broadcaster and media relations intern with the Battle Creek Bombers of the summer collegiate Northwoods League.
Of the many lessons Tanaka learned through his job-market experience, the most critical is the importance of building relationships. “It’s very important to keep up with connections in a respectful way. Without being pushy, letting my connections know what I am looking for in the job market allows them to keep their eye out for potential positions that fit both me and the potential employer.”
It is through his contacts that Tanaka got the attention of executives in Florence.
“It turns out that the Freedom’s GM is a good friend of someone who I had recently talked to about the Frontier League job market,” Tanaka says. “If my connection didn’t know what I was looking for, he may not have recommended me for the position.”
Another lesson Tanaka learned is to keep your online presence up to date because you never know when someone is reviewing it. “I had no idea that the Freedom would be looking at my website when they did. I’m glad it was up-to-date with my current demos, resume, and media relations samples.”
Tanaka encourages other sports broadcasting job seekers to be resilient.
“I applied to a new position every month and had a fair share of rejection. Sometimes it’s hard to put together another unique cover letter and continue to find the right tapes, but you never know what opportunity is right around the corner. I received a rejection email 30 minutes before the Freedom called.”
Tanaka has been an STAA member since 2014. “STAA has connected me with many great people and I am so grateful for the service you provide. I wouldn’t be where I am today without STAA’s help.”
(Visit Luke’s website).