Are you a passionate sports fan with a penchant for sharing your love of the game? Maybe you’ve considered a “human sports encyclopedia” among your friends, or perhaps your schedule regularly revolves around the week’s biggest games and match-ups.
Whether you have just a few favorite teams or consider yourself an equal opportunity sports lover, you may have found yourself wishing that becoming a professional sports fan was a viable career.
As it turns out, a sports-oriented career isn’t limited to the professional athletes you cheer on every week; working as a professional sports broadcaster offers an excellent option for turning your love for the game into a full-time gig.
What is a Sports Broadcaster?
A sports broadcaster is an on-air personality that specifically covers sporting events, either in a studio or on-site as an announcer. Sports broadcasters often work for a certain network, including in television, radio, and online broadcasting, while others are employed by a specific team. Some sports broadcasters deal with a full range of sports and teams, and others have a narrower focus and stick to just one sport or team.
If you’re interested in becoming a sports broadcaster, you have a wide range of options for future employment: from the local high school football team to national professional teams, there’s no shortage of opportunity.
How to Start a Sportscasting Career
While there’s no single way to reach your goal of being a professional sports broadcaster, there are certain steps you can take to help set yourself up for success.
Start gaining experience as early as possible
If you’re still in high school, you might think that there’s nothing you can do to work towards your career just yet. But actually, there are ways to building your resume early on, learning useful skills that you’ll only continue to expand upon.
Your high school may offer a broadcasting course, which can be a good option for learning some important basics.
You can also improve your speaking and writing skills – which will be important as a sportscaster – by working on a school television network, radio station, or newspaper. Look for volunteer opportunities with local youth sports teams; there are sometimes opportunities for teens and young adults to volunteer as play-by-play announcers for community teams and organizations.
Learn as much as possible about your future career, including required skills and education.
Take the time to research all that is involved with a sports broadcasting career, including day-to-day duties, working environment, and the education and skills that can give you a competitive advantage.
There are many types of careers connected to sports broadcasting, including working as a color commentator, sports news anchor, sports radio talk show host, and more.
The one thing these jobs all have in common is that they require job candidates to possess a solid knowledge of sports, so immersing yourself in sports history, statistics, and current events is a smart move.
Complete a sports broadcasting training program.
Once you’ve graduated high school, it’s time for your professional career training. Many media-focused schools and educational programs offer training specifically geared towards sports broadcasting.
Choose one that features both hands-on experiences and classroom time, so you can build a well-rounded foundation of skills. It’s not unusual for employers to require a training certificate or diploma from broadcaster candidates, so this is a step in the career process that you won’t want to skip.
While you’re in school, you’ll probably learn to create a demo tape. A demo tape includes clips of your best broadcasting work and is an ongoing project that you’ll continue to edit and expand as your experience grows.
Seek internship opportunities.
Either during your schooling or after graduation, look for intern openings at local networks and sports teams. Even though many people dream of interning at national sports networks, you may benefit from the increased responsibilities and opportunities that are often available at smaller, local networks and organizations.
Tips for a Successful Sports Broadcasting Career
Now that you know what steps to take to begin your career as a sportscaster, you may be wondering how you can set yourself apart in this highly competitive industry. Here are a few tips for standing out among a sea of job applicants and achieving your career dreams:
Make sure to prioritize your education
It’s true that there are a few successful sports broadcasters that rocketed to success without any professional education, but those stories are extremely rare.
An education and hard work will make a world of difference in your career pursuits, so be sure to prioritize school and career training early on.
Always be open to learning and growing
Whether it’s your first or five thousandth day in the industry, never assume that you’ve learned everything there is to know. Keeping an open mind and being willing to expand your skills and knowledge is a key to success in any industry, including broadcasting.
Seek out new opportunities to learn, including mastering out-of-the-box skills that may serve you well later in your career.
Establish genuine professional connections
Professional networking is often one of the best ways to open new doors in your career, especially when you are known for sharing your skills and knowledge with others.
Be a valuable member in others’ professional networks, and they’re likely to think of you – and even provide recommendations – when they hear of job opportunities in the industry.
Additionally, networking can be a wonderful way to learn from others, benefiting from their professional experiences and knowledge.
Know that you will probably need to work your way up through a variety of professional roles
If you’re expecting to score your dream job at a huge network right away, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself disappointed – most successful broadcasters started out in entry-level positions and worked hard to advance their careers over time.
In fact, starting at the bottom rungs of the career ladders can be a gift; offering you the chance to learn from admirable mentors and build a diverse range of skills and expertise. Demonstrate a good work ethic, maintain a positive attitude, and you’ll be on your way to reaching your goals in no time.
Start Your Broadcasting Career Path at the Media Schools, Located in Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, and Miami
At the Media Schools, located in Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, and Miami, our sports broadcasting students gain the knowledge and practical skills they need to pursue a career as a professional sportscaster.
By combining hands-on experiences with the expertly-designed course curriculum, our sports broadcasting program prepares students for real-world success.
Here, you can study the inner workings of the world of broadcasting, giving yourself the advantage of education when it comes to transforming your passion for sports into a viable career. When you’ve completed the program, you’ll know more than ever about the career field that you’ve always dreamed of joining.
Learn more about how to become a sports broadcaster by beginning with the right education by contacting the schools of the Be On Air Network today.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Michael Dechev