My wife and I spent the last month traveling through Germany, Italy, and Greece. It was the trip of a lifetime! We saw some of the most famous pieces of art and architecture in human history. We swam in crystal blue ocean water connected to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We ate great food and did our best to drink the cities we visited out of wine and beer. And while it was an amazing once in a lifetime experience, it’s over and now time to get back to reality. That reality in my case means coming back to the United States homeless and unemployed as I try to build the next phase of my career in the Twin Cities.
Now is the time to go all in to find sportscasting work! There is no one way to make this happen, but there are several avenues that I plan on exploring. I think there is a strong chance that one or more of these paths could lead to positive results:
Get In The Door At A Radio Station: The first and perhaps most obvious strategy is to get a foot in the door with a local radio station, preferably a station within the cluster of a play-by-play property rights holder. This probably means doing part time jobs like running a board, reading updates, or other less than glamorous tasks. However, I’ll do whatever it takes with a smile on my face, because I know I’m playing the long game. Becoming a known commodity over time will hopefully lead to fill-in opportunities where I can prove that I’m capable of more opportunities. This in turn could lead to full-time opportunities within the market.
Build Relationships With Influencers: Whether I’m in with a traditional radio station or not, it will be essential to build relationships with influential people in the market. I have to find ways to make myself known to program directors, athletic directors, and other broadcasters. This is easier said than done because people like me are a dime a dozen, and these decision-makers are busy. The key is to give whatever assistance you can and help others without asking for anything in return. Doing this allows you to build real relationships and is more likely to lead to someone wanting to return the favor down the line.
It’s worth mentioning that I do think that I have a small advantage in this area because I already have a good rapport with several influencers in the MSP market. It’s a big reason why we chose the MSP area over other options in the first place. That said, finding ways to get credentials to games, attending conferences, and just reaching out via cold call emails will be crucial in heightening my chances of finding work.
Build A Webcast: Continuing to get play-by-play reps will be crucial, but if I can’t find a job right away, I’ll have to find an alternative means to get those reps. Fortunately, the barrier to getting on the air right now is nearly nonexistent. With a small investment in equipment and a streaming service, I can put my own games on the air. This is where I thank my lucky stars for my sales experience because I believe with the right high school/ small college as a partner, this could be not only an effective way to get play-by-play repetitions, but also a lucrative way to pay the bills.
Develop Side Hustles: I’m incredibly fortunate to have a very supportive wife who happens to have very good teaching job, but I’ll still need to contribute in order for our bills to get paid. That’s why I’ve been working on several side hustle type businesses. I’ve already started developing a voice over business using my spare bedroom as a hacked-together studio. I’ve also started buying items from stores on clearance and re-selling them on Amazon. There are endless opportunities out there if you have a little creativity and are willing to grind.
Have you ever had your own back to reality moment? Share your story in the comments section below.