Now the Hard Part

Getting a job won’t be an easy task. Being well rounded and knowing how to present yourself is sure to impress an employer. Possessing seven vital skills will lead you to instant success. Click this link to find out what those seven steps are!

Jobs in sports broadcasting are only on the rise. Many networks are now trying to mimic ESPN and want to have multiple sports talk shows. For example, the Pac-12 Network was recently launched and NBC is expanding to a Sports Network. To find out more on why sports broadcasting is on the rise click here.

The person on the screen below is very credible. Brian Clapp worked at CNN/Sports illustrated in various production roles including as a writer, editor and producer. After that his career took him to Seattle as the Coordinating Producer/News Director at Fox Sports Northwest. He then started three years ago.


Being a sports broadcaster is your dream job? Well, it’s also 10 million others’ dream jobs. The competition is stiff. Many sports analysts these days are retired professional athletes. In recent years more and more sideline reporters are females. Sports Broadcasting is now a new and unique opportunity for women. Do the names Erin Andrews or Suzy Colber ring any bells? They’re two great female sports broadcasters with a high intelligence and passion for sports. That’s why you have to find your niche. What can you do that no one else can?

Former ESPN anchor Dan Patrick who now has his own show “The Dan Patrick Show” and Co-hosts NBC’s Football Night in America is a very wise man. His advice on getting a Sports Broadcasting job is:

“Writing is essential. We write everything we say, so you have to learn how to express yourself creatively and intelligently and knowledgeably on a tight deadline.”

Preparation, Knowledge and Enthusiasm

Energy, Enthusiasm & Smile. If you can do those three things, you are on your way to becoming a good sports talk host. Before you get in front of the camera, though, you need to prepare. Preparation is key to success. No host for any show goes unprepared. You also need to study, study, study. You have to be and sound knowledgeable about the topic you are discussing. People like you and me need to bring our A game each and every day. Why one may ask? Well, because former professional athletes are filling our spots  everyday. The reason being is that they are a credible source right off the bat. Here is a great video on how to be a GREAT sports news anchor and beat out all those former athletes!! Click here.

 Let’s not talk about what are some key tips when you are calling sporting events. You need to first and foremost gain respect from your viewers by knowing what you’re talking about. Viewers also want to listen to someone whom takes a unique angle on certain scenarios and has an interesting opinion. Here is a link that gives a whole list of unique and also common phrases to use during a game. Remember being knowledgeable is important, but you also don’t want to put your audience to sleep.

As you all know by now, last summer I interned with ESPN Milwaukee. I learned a lot of valuable tips on sports broadcasting just by sitting in on many different radio shows. Those shows included: The D-List, Homer & Thunder and Green & Gold Today. Each show host brought something different to the table. Being different and unique is very vital. One of the best in the biz David Bernstein, gives some very valuable advice and steps to sports broadcasting success! For more click the link here!

“It’s Both What You Know and Who You Know”

Network… network…network! It’s important to be knowledgeable about your area of expertise. Sports hosts and play-by-play announcers posses a great wealth of sports knowledge. It’s almost impossible to be in the profession and succeed without a wide range of intelligence in most sports. That being said, it also comes down to who you know! It can be the break you need to jump start your career. Here is a website I found called “Skills for Sports Broadcasting” that will help re-emphasize my points. It talks about sports knowledge, communication skills and how to better develop your contacts.

Forming relationships with professionals through social media is also very important.  I heavily use LinkedIn and Twitter. They are two great sources to connect with professionals. LinkedIn is a phenomenal way to sell yourself and get your name out there. You need to be agressive and persistent when connecting with others. I have been fortunate enough to pick the brains of several different employees at ESPN in Bristol. That’s how powerful this platform can be if you use it correctly. If you don’t have an account, you need to get one. Before getting hired employers will look to see if you have LinkedIn. Trust me, I have been told that they do! I want you guys to look at my page to better understand what I am talking about. Here is a link to LinkedIn page. I currently have 208 connections and I am trying to increase that number all the time! What’s also important is that once you do connect with a professional you STAY IN TOUCH! Many people connect once and then that’s it. That will not help you. Establishing a relationship is important because if they like you who knows what could happen! Here is an article called “The Importance of LinkedIn” that discusses ways to leverage LinkedIn, building your network and integration.

Twitter is much of the same. You want to keep your page professional along with what you say. You want to stand out in a positive light and outshine everyone else. The way you do that is by taking it to another level. I followed an ESPN recruiter and she followed me back. I picked her brain for awhile and thanked her for her time. I even sent her a thank you card. She later responded and thanked me. I am sure she was both shocked and impressed. Nothing has yet come from it, but the little things can make a difference. I am also going to attach a link to my Twitter account.

I found another article called “How to become a Sports Broadcaster” that talks about developing certain skills, along with relationships and how to better build your network.

I hope this helps get you once step closer to achieving your dream!

“It’s the Reel Deal”

Sure you have a lot of references, a high GPA, a nice cover letter and resume, but in this industry that doesn’t nearly matter, as much as, a reel does. Being able to display your talents and show the employer what you are capable of is key.

Let’s take a step back for a second…. to have a good reel you have to get the experience. You have to take the initiative to get involved wherever you can. For me, I had my own radio show called “The Score” my freshman year with two other seniors. I did that for about a year and then switched to television where I started as a sports reporter/sports anchor. I later climbed the ladder to sports producer and assistant sports director. Enough of me… back to helping you guys!

Let’s dig deeper into the nuts and bolts of making your reel. I found a fantastic site that includes: 5 things you should do for your demo reel 1.) Practice, Practice, Practice 2.) Show your versatility 3.) Look professional 4.) Work your contacts first, then try to make new contacts 5.) Embrace technology. All that and more on “How to Make a TV Demo Reel.”

Hope that link helps! If not, there is more. I found another website that includes a  video with more helpful advice on building your reel. It even includes how some ESPN anchors started their careers. Click this link “Become a Sportscaster.”

I can’t stress this enough how important having a good reel is. What I took away from the websites above is that you have 30-seconds to get an employer’s attention. That’s not a lot of time. You need to instantly impress!

Advice from the Experts

During my internship over the summer I have met many professional athletes including Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun, which was awesome! I was also fortunate enough to pick the brain of Packers reporter Jason Wilde. Here is one quote that stood out.

“You have to find your role and make sure that it not only helps our team and helps the people around you and your teammates, but find a way to make it take a step in your career too,” Wilde said. “Look it doesn’t help me and it doesn’t help you to go plug my meter or to go get me coffee. Take every opportunity you can to learn something.  Soak in and be a sponge on every single opportunity and then once you kind of find your path and realize what you want to do whether it’s marketing, writing, radio, production then pursue that and find what you’re passionate about here and make that your own.”- Jason Wilde Packer’s Reporter

I thought everything he said was very helpful and true. Jason Wilde also has his own blog at ESPN He has a lot of great work and inside Packer coverage! Be sure to check it out! You can also find Jason Wilde on Twitter, where he is very active.

What makes the difference between a good sports broadcaster and a great one? Sportscaster Steve Berthiaume of ESPN explains.

“There are two types of people I come across in this profession. The first type is the person who views this job as a genuine craft or vocation. It’s a unique job with a specific skill set. That skill set needs to be observed, honed, practiced, studied and refined. It’s a profession, a craft and should be treated as such; with the proper amount of focus, preparation and dedication to detail.

“The second type, is the person who simply wants to be on television,” says the host of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, “they are pleased just to see their faces on the screen and have cameras pointed at them, whether it’s doing sports, news, entertainment, traffic reports, whatever. It would seem to make little difference to them to be hosting a game show or playing a villain on a soap opera; they’re on television – mission accomplished. My advice to young people is simple: Be that first person. Never consider being the second.”

Many interns expect all sorts of things for their first internship. I found a great website that can help you prepare for the unexpected. The site is full of videos with great advice on internships and more! Click here

Want to become a “Superstar” Intern?

Experience.. experience… experience. Before you become a “Superstar” intern, you need to have a ton of valuable experience to get that internship. For me, having that experience was huge. It tells the employer a lot about yourself and that you’re very capable and ready. Here is a link that reinforces my point.

Now let’s get to becoming “Superstar” intern (In Molly Shannon’s voice)

Well.. that was fun… and comical… and horrible….

Back to what’s going to make you a “Superstar” intern!

Getting that first internship is hard. Making a lasting impression on the company is a different level of “hard.” This past summer I interned with ESPN Milwaukee and making a big impression was one of my main goals. It’s easier said then done one might say. Yes, indeed it is! For me it all started with learning to always say “yes.” It doesn’t matter if you already worked 12 days in a row and they want you to work 15. YOU SAY YES!! Why? For the simple reason that not everyone will. What that gains you is, right away you are differentiating yourself from the rest. That is exactly what you want. It also shows commitment to the company and that your willing to do anything!

Next… it might sound dumb, but putting a smile on your face everyday is important! It shows that you always have a positive attitude. People will want to work with you more. Trust me. Smile! It will go a long way. No one wants to work with someone who is depressed and complains all the time. Companies hire people who have a strong work ethic and do a nice job, but they also hire people they like! Be like-able and try to establish relationships with everyone right away!

Another lesson I learned at ESPN and it’s to always play to the level above you. If you’re an intern act and work as if you’re part-time, etc.

Something else I learned from ESPN was to live and die by the 5 core values:

1.) Be honest 2.) Work hard 3.) Follow through 4.) Over deliver 5.) Listen

If you can follow these 5 core values in every situation you will be successful!

Lastly, outworking you colleagues is key! It is a competition for a future job whether you think so or not. Everyday try and go the extra mile. Whether it’s doing something without being asked, staying later then your suppose to or taking on one more project. Whatever it may be, it will help you out tremendously in the long run.

Here is another link that lists more keys to becoming a successful intern… or as I would say it… a “Superstar” intern!

Things YOU need to Know

Hello everyone! My name is Ryan O’Connor and I am a Senior. I pride myself on a “no quit” attitude. I am willing to pursue any opportunity to achieve my dream of working in the sports broadcasting world. Currently, majoring in Radio/TV/Film and minoring in Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

With my time at Oshkosh I have gained an array of experience in the field already via extensive involvement in the student-operated radio and television stations.

I hope to enhance any sports environment with my in-depth knowledge, and desire to work hard and take on any task with a positive attitude. I thrive on working as a team player toward a common goal.

I’ve had two internships so far. My first internship was with Fox 11 in Green Bay. I interned in the sports department and learned an array of skills. My second internship was this past summer where I interned with ESPN Milwaukee.  That was also a great experience. I was fortunate enough to meet many different professional athletes including Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun.

My ultimate goal is to someday be a sports broadcaster for a well known television station. I have set the bar high and I won’t stop until I succeed!!