Not too long ago, Sportscaster Life contributor Ryan Lepper talked about his time in Junior A hockey and how he balanced wearing various hats. He referenced his time as a broadcaster which included some sales duties and even some receptionist responsibilities. While some of Ryan’s hats aren’t exactly the responsibilities that many of us think where we hear “sportscaster,” there are some obligations which we might overlook that better fit the description. For many of us, especially those who belong to a small front office or in the lower levels of sportscasting, the terms broadcaster and media relations can become synonymous.
Here’s an idea of some things you might be tasked to do which don’t necessarily stick out in our minds when we think sportscasting, but are definitely just as important to our roles and building our own personal brands.
At times, you might be asked to host a press conference or two. Let’s face it, you’re the team’s voice, and sometimes you’re the person who fans recognize most outside of the players and coaches. From things like player signings, jersey and merchandise reveals, to team and venue events it’s likely that upper management/ownership asks you to participate. Sometimes it’s a minor role, hosting or introducing those who will speak, and other times is more involved such as being the primary focus or being the keynote.
Media Releases and Written Articles
You may even be asked to take those press conferences and turn them into official communications from the team in the form of a media release. It’ll be your job to alert the local media of upcoming announcements and press conferences and/or send recaps of the press conference. Other types of communication might include player signings, trade notifications, and sales/merchandising releases. As far as the game goes, many sportscasters get tasked with writing post-game recaps, particularly when on the road. Keep a copy of your AP Style Book because sportscasting may come with some written duties that didn’t come to mind right away.
Working with Local Media
We’re so used to being the ones to interview coaches and players; we forget that sometimes, WE’RE the ones going to get interviewed. It all goes back to the thought that the broadcaster is the literal mouthpiece of the team, and when the GM or coach is unavailable – you could be the next in line. It’s something that happened to me recently; a news outlet showed up to our offices with a camera and reporter. They stopped by to speak with our General Manager, but he was tied up in a meeting, and I got thrust into the role of interview subject.
As you wind down the season or get prepared for a new one upcoming, don’t get tunnel vision thinking about the games or matches, and don’t forget those other hats to wear. The hats that aren’t a big departure from your game calls. Sportscasting by nature requires quick thinking and the ability to ride the roller coasters as they unfold on the field, the ice, the pitch or the diamond. So, when those new duties pop up, or an old one that maybe you overlooked, use those broadcasting skills to be as well-rounded as you can.