(January 20, 2015) Three days during the spring of 2014 helped Jake Levy re-discover his passion and move him towards his new position as Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations with the Quad Cities River Bandits.
The River Bandits are the Class-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.
One thing that attracted Levy to Quad Cities is the organization’s 100% commitment to excellence. “The ownership is extremely hands-on and the team is a big part of the community,” he says. “The awards the team racked up in 2015 lead all of Minor League Baseball, they set attendance records in 2015, and yet they’re still looking for ways to get better for 2016. They also really value the media relations and broadcasting role, and have a tremendous track record of sending their directors of media relations on to bigger markets.”
Levy’s baseball broadcasting experience is extensive. Between 2011 and 2013 he called games for the Columbia Blowfish, Camden Riversharks and Lynchburg Hillcats. After leaving minor league baseball in 2013 to tour as an announcer with the Harlem Globetrotters, he accepted an assistant director of broadcasting position at Wingate University.
It was while broadcasting three NCAA tournament baseball games for Wingate that Levy realized how much he missed baseball. “Those three games reignited by love for baseball radio. I was hooked again. The rush I got in painting that picture, describing the scene for those listening and conveying the intensity of moments being played out live on the field was unparalleled.”
2015 found Levy back at the ballpark as the voice of the summer collegiate North Adams SteepleCats. Now it’s onto Quad Cities for his first No. 1 job in affiliated baseball.
“It’s just a ton of excitement for me,” says Levy. “Quad Cities is a great Minor League Baseball market with a strong and dedicated fan base. The River Bandits continue to rack up awards on a yearly basis and the chance to be a part of such an innovative and passionate organization is the ideal way for me to rejoin the MiLB ranks. Throw in a breathtaking ballpark right on the Mississippi River and a team that led all of Minor League Baseball in wins last year (88), and it becomes an obvious choice for me as a top spot to break into lead affiliated baseball.”
A 2012 graduate of the University of South Carolina, Levy has been an STAA member since 2013. The Quad Cities opportunity was posted in December at baseball’s Winter Meetings, but Levy learned about it through STAA.
“STAA has been the catalyst behind just about every job I’ve gotten in sportscasting,” he says. “Not just through job postings, but with Jon’s advice and guidance in this difficult industry. There have been seemingly devastating moments in my journey, but being part of the STAA community helped me to never feel alone in that anguish. The blogs, critiques and information have helped me better understand the business and not take rejection so personally, which has been a big reason I could shake off so many of the difficulties and now get to celebrate a huge moment in my career.”
Levy’s advice to other sportscasting job seekers is to be thorough. “It’s an industry that can drive you crazy. But the only way to #keeppounding (remember, I’m still in Charlotte as I say this — Go Panthers) is to know you have truly done everything in your power to make yourself stand out and be the best possible candidate. If the team or organization goes in another direction, that’s on them. You also never know what connections could be the ones that lead to a position later in your career.”
(Visit Jake’s website).