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3 Tips for Becoming a Sportscaster


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Brian Clapp, the Founder of SportsTVJobs.com is a 12-year veteran of the Sports TV industry, having worked at both CNN/Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports Net as a Writer, Video Editor, Producer and News Director. “SportsTVJobs.com is the richest online resource for aspiring sports media professionals,” says Clapp “we have interviews with Sports TV experts, career advice, how to videos and access to over 3,000 sports jobs across the U.S., everything you need to pursue your dream job in the sports media world”.

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Video Transcript

Hi I’m Brian Clapp, founder of SportsTVJobs.com, being a Sportscaster is definitely one of the coolest jobs in sports television, but it’s not easy and it’s not always glamorous. Here are three tips to help you get started down the right path.

1: Practice – I know it sounds obvious but really what I’m talking about is practicing the right way.

  • You want to work on your writing a lot. Writing is the foundation of journalism and as a Sportscaster you are a journalist. Pick the three most important stories of the day and write 15-20 second lead ins. Then watch ESPN, Fox Sport,s Comcast and your local sportscast to see how the professionals do it. Do this over time and you’re going to learn how to craft a good lead in, how to craft a good news story to make it compelling. Find your style, but don’t waste time right now working on catchphrases, those are gimmicks you can figure out later.
  • Use your DVR to help with highlight reads, really embrace technology. Record game highlights from a major network, write down the basics of each play “Kevin Garnett dunk or Albert Pujols homerun” then rewind the DVR turn down the sound and practice your pace, voice quality and timing. That’s the beauty of today’s technology; you can rewind and try over and over again with ease.
  • Use your webcam, it always used to be people would practice in front of the mirror, now you can record everything now you can say your lead ins, read your game highlights then critique yourself which is such a great benefit. You’ll notice so many things about your delivery. Then let other people critique your work too, you have to be open to other people criticism .

2: Internships/Demo Reel – To get hired you need a good demo reel, we have a separate "How To" video entirely dedicated to making your demo reel, but here is step one. Get an internship at a local station or network and make friends with Directors, Video Editors and the Sportscasters. The Director will let you know when there are breaks in the production schedule so you can practice on set and will gather the rest of the crew to help your production. Sportscasters will give you honest critiques and feedback, they’ll point out things you may not have noticed and will often play a mentor role. Finally the video editor will help you put together your materials in a professional format ready to show to potential employers.

My friend Patrick Brown, a director for Fox Sports Northwest (soon to be ROOT Sports) added a great piece of advice, he said – It doesn’t hurt to bring donuts or something nice for the people that help you…be respectful of their time, and give them something for it.

3: Market Strategy– Once you have practiced and have a demo reel, just don’t send your materials anywhere – be realistic and strategic. There are 210 local TV markets but not all of them are going to provide a great sports opportunity. Don’t get too concerned with number and rank and size at this point of your career, you want to find markets where there are important events you can be involved in, improve your reel and help you land the next job.

Here’s what I mean:

Albany, NY is the 58th largest market in the nation, but it’s more of a news hub as the capital of New York. For Sports you’ll cover some minor league hockey, some small colleges, great city but not a great opportunity for sports.

Topeka, KS is almost half the size of Albany only the 136th largest market, but it is near Lawrenceville where the University of Kansas is, near Kansas City where there are a plentitude of professional teams and near Manhattan where Kansas State is. Now one or two years later, you’re going to have Big 12 Football, major college basketball, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, on your tape that you can show to potential employers.

Work for a year or two in Albany and your tape will be ok, work in a place like Topeka and you’ll have major college & professional sports exposure.

So remember, practice your writing and your presentation skills, get a good internship to start your demo reel – and then be selective in where you look for job opportunities. For more information on Becoming a Sportscaster go to SportsTVJobs.com and check out our career center and expert advice columns.