The world of sports broadcasting is highly competitive. However, it is also a business system, so you can take certain steps that allow you to better succeed.
How To Get A Job In Sports Broadcasting
Here are actionable strategies you can use to get sports broadcasting jobs:
1. Have a passion for sports
The basis for these sports jobs is often a strong affinity for sports, with a particular emphasis on one sport. For instance, yours might be car racing. Many pros initially develop a sense of the sport by watching on TV or listening on the radio.
2. Get formal education
Think about furthering your education. As you look at institutions, consider which ones have the best offerings in post-graduate connections and internships.
Your ideal academic preparation for jobs in sports broadcasting is a media or communications degree, potentially focused on broadcasting. An audio/video or communications associate’s degree from a community college will help, but it will be even more compelling to potential employers if you have a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. A four-year program is particularly important because it allows you to develop a deeper understanding of production and sharper communication skills.
Beyond classwork, be certain that you are well-informed on all the history, rules, and subtleties of sports. Be particularly knowledgeable on the sport you want to be your central focus, but also be well-educated on the general industry.
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3. Do extracurriculars
When you attend college, try to get a sports broadcasting job at the school’s TV or radio station when you are in college, since it can give you valuable experience.
Beyond strengthening your skills, you will get another benefit if you want to be a sports broadcaster or sports commentator: working at the school station will give you good material for a demo reel. You can then send the demo tape out to pro sports broadcasters to get their constructive criticism. Once you complete school, you can send the reel out to potential employers.
Again for those hoping to become a sports broadcaster, you may be able to interview players ahead of and following games for online news or for newspapers. You could also go to the sports information office at your school to see if they have work-study positions available. Another good resume-builder for a sports commentator is calling college games.
Along with direct experience with sports media, broader sports experience can also be helpful, whether you want to be on- or off-camera. Volunteer as a student manager for one of the teams. Join an intramural league.
4. Get an internship
If you want to make it in sports broadcasting, you will want to get an internship. These roles are opportunities to work directly with TV and radio broadcasting specialists. They give you many hours of on-the-job training. Plus, internships have great networking potential, giving you a chance to meet numerous potential future colleagues.
5. Leverage references
Get reference letters to bolster your future job applications from professors, coaches, and internship supervisors. In fact, if you have a great reference, ask them to call an outlet that is hiring for a sports broadcasting job.
6. Start low and work your way up
The field is competitive and is expected to become even more challenging: BLS data shows that TV and radio announcer jobs will likely decrease by 7 percent between 2018 and 2028. Experts say entry-level sports broadcasting jobs at small radio stations will be the best places to get started. You could get a job as a camera operator and eventually get a position as an announcer.
7. Get an agent
Another step that is important, if you want to be on-air or producing, is to get formal representation in the form of a talent agent. It is best if this professional specializes in sportscasting. You can get ideas for agents from the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America. Even if you are trying to land producer or reporter roles on small-market stations, talent agents are becoming commonplace.
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What Are Different Example Jobs In Sports Broadcasting?
Now that we have explored how to get a job in sports broadcasting, let’s take a more granular look at some of the main sports broadcasting jobs:
Administration – Producers are a key example of these jobs in sports. Producers strategize and develop live or recorded newscasts and other shows. They help to streamline and organize the presentations. Other jobs in this category include editors, management staff, and support staff.
Technicians – One example technical position is a camera operator. Camera operators handle the TV studio’s video cameras and other equipment. Lighting crew members and sound engineers are other technician roles.
“On-air talent” – To appear on screen, you could fill any of various positions, such as a reporter, analyst, or announcer. These individuals conduct research, interview athletes and coaches, and help develop stories. One key example role is the sports reporter, which is a journalist with a niche focus on sports. Sports reporters may present on-location broadcasts, using the information and materials they gather. In some cases, they take pictures or video, and they will write and sometimes edit their reports. They conduct research, interview subjects, and assess their findings.
Sports marketing & advertising – Jobs are available to help sports broadcasting companies market and sell themselves. These professionals reach out to the public, on behalf of the station, to see if they can generate a large listenership or viewership. Advertising specialists are needed to sell sponsorships and ads. Ads must also be developed, another responsibility of this department. There are numerous entry-level sports broadcasting roles in this category.
Legal – You may not think of attorney positions as sports jobs, but they can be. An attorney might be hired on retainer for work in sports broadcasting. The organization also might hire an attorney full-time. Legal reviewers check broadcast material pre-air. Sports lawyer activities might include helping reporters who are being pressured to release confidential material or sources. Lawyers also defend broadcasting organizations in legal settings. They protect the brand when anyone infringes on the copyright.
Accounting – Broadcasting accountants, or broadcast accountants, simply provide accounting within a sports broadcasting setting.
Position Yourself For Sports Broadcasting Jobs
The sports broadcasting industry is competitive, so you want to come at it from the right position. Nearly all sports employers (93%) who responded to a recent national sports employment news industry poll said they were either “more likely” or “far more likely” to hire a candidate if they were members of JobsInSports.com. Join our network today and start pursuing your dream sports job.