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How Do You Find The Best Stories For Your Game?

“Information is everywhere these days thanks to the World Wide Web, but don’t just settle for the ride on the superhighway of information. Dig deeper.”

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You want your broadcast to be filled with information and not just the garden variety things you find in the team’s game notes. I’m talking about information other than what a certain player is hitting over his/her last 12 games and factoids other than where he/she went to college or high school. The stories are there, but where do you get them? How do you present them?

I’ve got some ideas for you and they really won’t require you to do a whole lot of leg work. 

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Chances are pretty good that if you need a story about a player, there has been one written at some point. Whether it be in a local newspaper, a national publication or in an online article. Google is your friend. Now the only thing I’ll caution you on is to double check and make sure that the information in the first story you found is accurate information. Simply check the next article (making sure it’s from a different source) to see if the story in the first article matches or is similar to the second. 

If you are a regular reader of publications or online sites, you may even have a good “recall” or memory of something you heard or saw in the past. This gives you a leg up, because more than likely you’ll remember the source and just need to go back and refresh your memory on the subject. 

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When you get to the major league level, teams will provide “clips” of articles that are written about the team. 

As an example, with the White Sox an article was written about one of the pitchers and his work out regimen during the off season. It has improved his performance and was very interesting in detailing the process the pitcher used and who he worked out with. After reading the article, I interviewed the player for my pregame show. Using the framework of what I read, began to ask him questions about it and surprisingly he had more information for me than was in the original piece.

He told me afterwards that it was information that he had forgotten about until I asked him a few follow ups on the subject. Not only did I use the interview in my pregame, I now am armed (no pun intended) with information for the broadcast when he next pitches. 

Coaches, Managers, Front Office Execs

People that are usually around players most often are the coaches and managers of these teams. Sometimes a front office executives will have information, but this is a little more tricky to get unless you’ve built trust (see one of my previous columns) and will use only what they say is ok to use on your broadcast. 

Generally I like to use these people for additional information, after I’ve already interviewed a player. I’ll tell the manager, “Player A told me today that you suggested he change his approach…what do you remember about that conversation…” or something to that effect. This way he’s not betraying a players’ trust by telling you more information, because you’ve already gone to the player and its on the record. 

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Most of the time what you’ll see happen is after knowing a manager or a coach for a while, I may walk into his/her office before approaching the player and say “hey, I’m talking to player B for pregame today is there anything you think I should ask him?”. That manager may tell you ask him about “this” but don’t tell him that you asked me first. I’m good with that. The player thinks you did a lot of extra research on him (and you sort of did) and you’re not hanging the manager out to dry. All good things. 

Opposing broadcasters

When you’re trying to get ready for a broadcast, you should have some information about the other team. Again, things you won’t find in their game notes.  You usually have one, sometimes two great sources of information, usually within a 5 second walk. The opposing broadcasters. 

The information share between broadcasters helps both of you out tremendously. While you don’t want the home team call to be filled with a ton of information about the visiting team it is nice to have some info.

Know who the team’s closer is and what he’s done recently. The numbers might not always tell the story. He could be dealing with an injury or a personal issue. That information enhances your broadcast and shows your audience that you did your homework. 

Remember this is an information “share” so you need to reciprocate with good intel on your team as well. Again, you’re not giving away things that anyone told you in confidence, but there may be a story about one of your players that directly relates to one of theirs. Maybe they were high school or college teammates? Perhaps you asked one player about the other and some funny information came to light, that’s perfect to share and help out your fellow announcers. 

Now when you go to their booth, have some questions ready on specific players you’ve researched. Don’t just walk in there and say… “hey tell me about your team…”. Ask about the pitcher. What does he throw? What’s his best pitch? What type of velocity will we see. Has he incorporated a new pitch or change his delivery. These are things to walk in there and ask about. They should do the same in return. 

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Above all, remember not to share sensitive information that you have been asked not to speak about. That opens up a whole new can of worms you don’t want to deal with. 

Information is everywhere these days thanks to the World Wide Web, but don’t just settle for the ride on the superhighway of information. Dig deeper. Do the work. Your broadcast will be better as a result. 

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Podcast

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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Barrett Blogs

Mina Kimes, Bruce Gilbert, Mitch Rosen, and Stacey Kauffman Join the 2023 BSM Summit

“By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference.”

Jason Barrett

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The 2023 BSM Summit is returning to Los Angeles on March 21-22, 2023, live from the Founders Club at the Galen Center at the campus of the University of Southern California. Information on tickets and hotel rooms can be found at BSMSummit.com.

We’ve previously announced sixteen participants for our upcoming show, and I’m excited today to confirm the additions of four more more smart, successful professionals to be part of the event. Before I do that, I’d like to thank The Volume for signing on as our Badge sponsor, the Motor Racing Network for securing the gift bag sponsorship, and Bonneville International for coming on board as a Session sponsor. We do have some opportunities available but things are moving fast this year, so if you’re interested in being involved, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Now let’s talk about a few of the speaker additions for the show.

First, I am thrilled to welcome ESPN’s Mina Kimes to the Summit for her first appearance. Mina and I had the pleasure recently of connecting on a podcast (go listen to it) and I’ve been a fan of her work for years. Her intellect, wit, football acumen, and likeability have served her well on television, podcasts, and in print. She’s excelled as an analyst on NFL Live and Rams preseason football games, as a former host of the ESPN Daily podcast, and her appearances on Around The Horn and previously on Highly Questionable and the Dan Le Batard Show were always entertaining. I’m looking forward to having Mina join FS1’s Joy Taylor and ESPN LA 710 PD Amanda Brown for an insightful conversation about the industry.

Next is another newcomer. I’m looking forward to having Audacy San Francisco and Sacramento Regional Vice President Stacey Kauffman in the building for our 2023 show. In addition to overseeing a number of music brands, Stacey also oversees a dominant news/talk outlet, and two sports radio brands. Among them are my former station 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and ESPN 1320 in Sacramento. I’m looking forward to having her participate in our GM panel with Good Karma’s Sam Pines, iHeart’s Don Martin, and led by Bonneville’s Executive Vice President Scott Sutherland.

From there, it’s time to welcome back two of the sharpest sports radio minds in the business. Bruce Gilbert is the SVP of Sports for Westwood One and Cumulus Media. He’s seen and done it all on the local and national level and anytime he’s in the room to share his programming knowledge with attendees, everyone leaves the room smarter. I’m anticipating another great conversation on the state of sports radio, which FOX Sports Radio VP of programming Scott Shapiro will be a part of.

Another student of the game and one of the top programmers in the format today is 670 The Score in Chicago PD, Mitch Rosen. The former Mark Chernoff Award recipient and recently appointed VP of the BetQL Network juggles managing a top 3 market sports brand while being charged with moving an emerging sports betting network forward. Count on Mr. Rosen to offer his insights and opinions during another of our branding and programming discussions.

By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference. My focus now is on finalizing our business and digital sessions, research, tech and sports betting panels, securing our locations and sponsorships for the After Party and Kickoff Party, plus working out the details for a few high-profile executive appearances and a couple of surprises.

For those looking to attend and save a few dollars on tickets, we’ll be holding a special Black Friday Sale this Friday November 25th. Just log on to BSMSummit.com that day to save $50 on individual tickets. In addition, thanks to the generosity of voice talent extraordinaire Steve Kamer, we’ll be giving away 10 tickets leading up to the conference. Stay tuned for details on the giveaway in the months ahead.

Still to come is an announcement about our special ticket rate for college students looking to attend the show and learn. We also do an annual contest for college kids to attend the event for free which I’m hoping to have ready in the next few weeks. It’s also likely we’ll give away a few tickets to industry professionals leading up to Christmas, so keep an eye out.

If you work in the sports media industry and value making connections, celebrating those who create an impact, and learning about the business from folks who have experienced success, failure, and everything in between, the Summit is worth your time. I’m excited to have Mina, Bruce, Mitch and Stacey join us for the show, and look forward to spending a few days with the industry’s best and brightest this March! Hope to see you there.

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