Preface: Recently, a friend recommended an episode of the podcast, The Man in the Arena, that featured the general manager of Capital One Arena. I loved hearing the insights from this leader who shared stories about scheduling the arena and negotiating with promoters.
I was so interested that I listened to the other podcasts with guests like Julian McClurkin (Harlem Globetrotters), Newdini (NBA 2K Professional Player), and David Pitman (Cirque Du Soleil & Feld Entertainment) All of these guests shared incredible behind-the-scene looks into the sports and entertainment industry that you normally do not hear.
For many of you, sharing your own sports takes and stories may be a passion. Anthony Franceschini, host and creator of The Man in the Arena sports podcast, has shared his tips in starting out in the market.
Enjoy his lessons learned and tips below.
-Carson, Stadium Gear & Apparel
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Starting Your Own Sports Podcast
By Anthony Franceschini
My name is Anthony Franceschini. I am an event coordinator at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. - the wonderful home of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards. I have always been extremely passionate about sports, both playing and watching, and I did everything that I could to build a career in the industry. I was lucky enough to make my dream a reality, and now I consume sports more than I have ever before.
After being furloughed from my position a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, I began thinking of ways that I could stay connected to the industry while also doing something enjoyable. I came up with the fun idea for what I titled The Man in the Arena podcast.
I had met hundreds of extraordinary people in the sports and entertainment industry in my young career. I heard countless incredible stories about artists, athletes and more that I knew the average person would love to hear. I began reaching out to my connections to see who would be willing to let me “interview” them and bring those amazing stories to light. My goal was never to build a massive audience, but more to provide some entertainment for my friends, co-workers and others who may happen to stumble upon it.
If you are thinking of starting your own podcast, allow me to give you some insight! By no means am I an expert, but I conducted a fair amount of research on the topic before getting started, and I experienced the range of human emotions that come with putting yourself out there for the world to see. Here are a few things that you should know -
- Getting your podcast started is as easy as pie. At a bare minimum, all you truly need to start a podcast is a computer with a microphone. Now if you want to make a higher quality podcast, then purchasing a decent USB microphone off of Amazon for under $100 is truly your only start-up cost given you already have a computer.
- Anchor.fm is MAGICAL! Anchor.fm is a website that distributes your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all of the other big apps at absolutely no cost. Does it make sense? No. Should you take advantage of it? Absolutely. Don’t question it, just enjoy it! All you have to do is upload your audio file, write up a title and description and the website takes care of the rest.
- You’re probably not going to be as good as the big, popular podcasts that you listen to - at least at the beginning. As an avid podcast listener myself, mainly to some of the most popular sports podcasts out there, I was expecting that I would sound about as smooth as they do. After all, a podcast is really just a conversation, right? I was wrong, and getting past the native awkwardness of recording a podcast with a guest was tough for me at first. I couldn’t listen back to the audio because it made me cringe. I knew I was capable of being a better podcast “host,” but I was having a lot of trouble getting used to it. If you’re already comfortable with putting yourself out there, then your learning curve will be not as steep as mine!
- The market for a sports podcast at the moment is EXTREMELY saturated. Athletes are locked in their hotel rooms and industry professionals have more time on their hands than ever, so everyone and their mother is making a podcast. If the goal for your podcast is to have fun, then this point has no effect on you and you should go for it. If the goal of your podcast is to gain a large following and potentially even begin making some money, prepare for an uphill battle. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, though!
Questions to Consider
If you are looking to become the next big thing in the sports podcasting world, here are some questions you should ask yourself -
What will you be providing that your competitors aren’t offering?
You can’t expect listeners to add another podcast to their list if the same content is already offered and established elsewhere. It’s going to be hard to be original with the saturation of the market, but surely you can offer something that no one else is at the moment - whether it be your unique personality, your knowledge of certain topics, your social media content or something else.
How will you get your podcast in front of people’s eyes?
Will you promote it on your own personal social media pages? Will you be making new social media pages specifically for your podcast? What will your content look like on those social media pages? Will you be able to produce consistently high quality content for each of them? Will your social media pages be enough, or will you want to purchase advertisements as well? These are all questions that you will want to have answered before you get going. Your thoughts and ideas will constantly change as you figure out what is working and what isn’t, so be prepared to change some things up as well!
How can you leverage your relationships to build your podcast?
Do you have friends or coworkers who may have ideas for building your podcast? Whether it be someone with marketing expertise or a friend with a significant social media presence, you should be sure to utilize those relationships that you have to your advantage.
If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, I vote that you should do it. You will experience a great deal of ups and downs, regardless of the show’s success, but you will at least be able to say that you accomplished a goal of yours. If at any point managing the podcast becomes more of a chore than a fun activity, then re-evaluate what you are doing that is causing stress and get back to it. Just by getting started, you can create something really fun and engaging for your friends and family. You will find new relationships, new forms of personal growth, and maybe even a little bit of internet fame. Go for it!
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To listen to The Man in the Arena, click on the Youtube link HERE, or follow the account on Instagram HERE. To connect with Anthony to recommend new guests, be featured, or share fan mail, message him on his LinkedIn account HERE.
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