The NBA Lockout has taken its toll on a lot more people that you may think. Other than owners forfeiting earnings due to missed games and NBA players out of jobs, there are many other team employees looking for work. Scott Lauer, the subject of this interview, was one of those team employees who suddenly found himself without job. After many years of working as a play-by-play broadcaster in the NBA, Lauer was wondering how he could leverage his talents in a new business venture. The result of his brainstorming was the creation of a company called “Winning Broadcasting.” Read on to learn more about Lauer, and his role as a broadcaster agent within his new company.
Darren Heitner: What inspired you to create Winning Broadcasting?
Scott Lauer: Unemployment…ha! I was unexpectedly laid off as the radio play-by-play broadcaster of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats at the outset of the lockout. The germination of this growth began over a year ago. I initially wanted to consult and coach younger broadcasters, and this year I had the time to launch the website WinningBroadcasting.com. The service model quickly evolved into the role of an agent, representing clients, in addition to coaching them. I want to parlay my knowledge of the industry and connections, into helping other broadcasters achieve their goal in an accelerated fashion.
Darren Heitner: How do you recruit your clients?
Scott Lauer: I’m focusing on “up-and-comers” in broadcasting; mainly in sports, but also in news and weather. Many of my clients are people that I’ve helped in the past, and others have been on-line connections, through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I believe referrals will start trickling in after I work with clients over a few months. The younger or less established broadcasters comprise an untapped market. I’m giving them the attention that few agencies will. I was once a part of that group; I know what it’s like to be dismissed by agents – including my own, when I had one. Hopefully I can help position them for their big break; that’ll be extremely satisfying.
Scott Lauer: I just spoke at a local high school tv/radio class in fact. Getting involved with those school stations is quite beneficial. When I went to high school, it was rare to hear of studios and tv/radio electives. It’s never too early to plan your steps. Gaining valuable internships in college can speed up the job hunting process after school ends. High schoolers should start networking with organizations that they may want to intern with.
Darren Heitner: How does your experience in the industry benefit your agency and clients?
Scott Lauer: I’m the only broadcasting agent who is merely a few months removed from calling top level games. I have a perspective that few other agents possess. I can feel the spirit of a client, and have an appreciation for what matters to them. I spent close to a decade trying to navigate my way to the NBA; I understand what it takes to become proficient as a broadcaster, and more importantly, how to network. The irony is that I’ve spent so many years cultivating relationships, and now my priority is to have those same people assist my clients; not me!
Darren Heitner: How do you manage Winning Broadcasting while focusing on advancing your own career as a broadcaster?
Scott Lauer: Being an agent & consultant for Winning Broadcasting is now what I do full-time. I wake up and go to bed thinking about how I’m going to help my clients. I’ll be broadcasting a college basketball game on ESPN 3 in November, but I’m now dedicated to growing a quality client base, and assisting them in getting jobs, rather than looking for myself. My business is exploding so quickly with fine young talent, and I’m having so much fun molding and promoting them. I can say with conviction, that I’ll be doing this for the long-term. This suits my drive, entrepreneurial spirit, and independent nature. This has been an easy transition, and I’m fortunate to have reinvented myself within the industry.
Darren Heitner: What separates Winning Broadcasting from other agencies that represent sports broadcasters?
Scott Lauer: I concentrate on broadcasters who are generally in their 20’s and 30’s. Although I wouldn’t turn down Joe Buck as a client, I’m not going after the network level announcers. I look for the younger version of him, when others don’t see him/her as worth their time at this point in their careers. Additionally, I consult and coach clients; improving their sound – enhancing their chances to land jobs. Many times bigger agents will bury the younger clients under the rest of their clientele, and don’t take active roles in serving their clients. I immerse myself in the agent/client relationship; it’s a concierge service for broadcasters. Whatever they need, I’ll do for them. I’m committed to making sure that they position themselves for the jobs that they desire.