The 2016 year in sports was everything fans hoped it could be. Epic comebacks in all 4 of the major professional sports highlighted by unforgettable plays and legendary sports broadcasters on the call. Yet there’s a changing of the guard taking place in sportscasting these days and we thought we’d take this opportunity to shed some light on some of the most iconic sports broadcasters, current and retired, who are accepting outside opportunities for speaking engagements and other personal appearances.
Chris Berman: Say it ain’t so Swami! After 38 incredible years, ESPN forefather Chris Berman is stepping away from the anchor desk to accept an Emeritus role at the world’s leading sports network. He will still be involved in some decision-making for the network as well as overseeing certain programs and specials. Chris joined ESPN a month after it’s initial launch in 1979, a young upstart kid with a flair for the dramatic on air. Chris set the standard for sports broadcasting in the last 4 decades and will surely be missed. The good news is, less time at the anchor desk means more time for personal appearances and keynote speeches!
Brent Musburger: Chances are if you’ve watched a major sporting event on CBS, ABC or ESPN in the last few decades, you know exactly who Brent Musburger is. Brent called it a career at the close of the 2017 college football in January and leaves behind some pretty big shoes to fill at ABC/ESPN. He had a special ability to bring out the grandeur of every sporting event he called no matter the sport. NFL football, NBA basketball, tennis, golf, college football and basketball, you name it. He brought the game to life. Brent brings that same excitement to special events and ceremonies as a sports motivational speaker. His reputation precedes him, but his warm, humble demeanor helps him truly connect with audiences at every event he headlines.
Vin Scully: There will never be another storyteller in sports broadcasting quite like Vin Scully. He’s become famous for his ability to weave in hilariously obscure but interesting stories with a hidden nugget of wisdom into his broadcasts while never missing a pitch. He spent the last 67 years as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers and retired at the end of the 2016 season. He is widely considered the greatest play-by-play announcer in baseball history and his story of success while persevering through personal tragedies is sure to hit home with your audience.
Lou Holtz: Lovable Lou Holtz enjoyed great success as a college football coach at several universities including Notre Dame and South Carolina before heading up to the broadcast booth in 2004. He was a staple of college football coverage every year for CBS Sports and ESPN before stepping away from sports broadcasting in the spring of 2015. Along the way, Lou has reveled in the opportunity to inspire and motivate others either as a coach, co-worker or sports motivational speaker at special events. He is regularly hired to speak on topics such as leadership, overcoming obstacles, building a game plan for success and peak performance.
Bob Costas: Bob has been the leading man for all sports coverage on NBC since the early 1980’s. It is true, all good things must eventually come to an end and this week Bob appeared on the Today Show to announce that he has begun the process of stepping down from his major on-air roles at NBC. Bob has covered all of the major professional and college sports over the years and served as the host of primetime Olympic coverage from 1992-2016. As a sports keynote speaker, Bob takes audiences behind the scenes of some of the biggest moments in sports and shares important life and business lessons he has learned throughout his career in entertainment.
Dick Vitale: What’s it like to hire sports speaker Dick Vitale for your event? 3 words: IT’S AWESOME BABY! With March Madness just around the corner, Dickie V is the first name that comes to mind when thinking about iconic sports broadcasters in college basketball. No one can bring a heightened level of excitement to your event like Dickie V. Want to talk basketball? Great! Want to talk life? Even better. Want to talk success in business? He can do that too. Dick is a versatile keynote speaker who can pair his own story and life lessons with the desired goals and messaging of your event.
Joe Buck: FOX Sports lead play-by-play announcer Joe Buck just called Super Bowl LI and was on the call for the World Series back in October…okay, we’re jealous! Joe is living the sports broadcasters’ dream as a figurehead of FOX Sports calling some of the biggest games in sports each year. Given his growing popularity in the industry, Joe has become a top requested sports keynote speaker for sports ceremonies, business events and fundraisers in recent years. He delivers an insightful keynote centered around his upbringing as the son of a legendary announcer, his own experiences in the industry, and his keys to success in work and life.
Jim Nantz: Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz is another iconic name in the sports broadcasting industry who presides over major sports broadcasts for CBS. Most notably, Jim has been a lead play-by-play announcer for college basketball as well as the NFL and PGA Tour. His voice has become synonymous with the Masters Tournament, professional golf’s most prestigious event each year. Jim brings a special reverence to the broadcast booth and continues to serve as a role model for his peers and up-and-coming sports broadcasters.
Ernie Johnson: Many know this beloved sports broadcaster best as the host of the NBA on TNT with Shaq, Charles and Kenny. He has covered a multitude of sports for Turner Broadcasting Company throughout his career including the MLB, NFL, tennis, golf and college basketball. Outside of the broadcasting booth, Ernie is actively involved in charity work with organizations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Athletes in Action. Ernie is the consummate professional whose heartwarming story of family, faith and overcoming obstacles to success will inspire your audience to be the best version of themselves every day.
Al Michaels: Now what would our list of the top sports broadcasters for hire really be without Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Michaels? Al spent close to 3 decades as a lead play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports before moving to NBC in 2006. He is perhaps best known for his coverage of NFL football throughout the years if not for his memorable calls such as the Miracle on Ice game at the 1980 Olympics and the earthquake-interrupted Game 3 of the 1989 World Series. As a keynote speaker, Al can relate to audiences young and old as a featured keynote speaker for corporate conferences and industry events as well as college speaker series.
Are you interested in hiring one of the top sports broadcasters in the business on this list? How about another great sports motivational speaker from our full database of sports broadcasters? Contact us today! Sports Speakers Bureau specializes in assisting companies hire sports speakers for personal appearances including but not limited to keynote speeches, meet & greets, autograph sessions, event hosting, and traditional or social media marketing campaigns. Contact our sales team today via email at email@example.com or call (212) 410-4243.