Heat Reporter Jason Jackson Visits Sports Industry Club

The Monmouth Sports Industry Club hosted special guest speaker, Miami Heat Sideline Reporter and Host Jason Jackson, in an open forum webinar on Fri., Nov. 5. President of the club, Haider Husaini fielded questions from the audience related to TV broadcasting, hosting, and sideline reporting.

Husaini began the meeting by first introducing Jackson’s background. “Mr. Jackson has worked in this industry for about 29 years, and he has accumulated 20 Emmys,” reported Husaini. Jackson not only currently broadcasts for the Miami Heat, but he also his own show with the Miami Heat Radio Show, which is under the NBA radio umbrella. Most recently, Jackson expanded his broadcasting presence by assuming radio play-by-lay duties in replacement of Mike Inglis.

Jackson responded by thanking the group for both welcoming and giving him the opportunity to speak about his professional experiences thus far. Jackson then opened it up to the audience to ask their pressing questions. To start, Nick Firetto, education student, asked, “How did you initially get into the sports industry? I know it’s an especially competitive field.” Jackson admitted that he had to learn the hard way being that he had no personal connections to the industry. Nonetheless, “I had an instructional television program at my high school, which then gave way to an awesome internship at CBS affiliate and enabled me to learn structure, rundowns, writing, editing, and performance.”

According to Jackson, an internship should be at the top of a person’s list when thinking of entering the industry or trying to gain a competitive edge.

Another student, Jenna Walters, asked a follow up question, “What is one skill you think stands out as most helpful for success in the sports industry?” Jackson started off by noting that it comes down to the basics— reading and writing. “I know it sounds extremely elementary, but the thing I do most is taking in information. I read, synthesize, and write in preparation for games more than anything else,” said Jackson. He continued saying that the process does become much more natural and fluid though over time when you are covering a team every single day. Nevertheless, Jackson made sure to credit his early college level English Composition courses for paving the way for such solid habits. “To this day, 31 years after taking this class, it was and is the most important class pertaining to my broadcasting,” admitted Jackson.

Husaini then moved the direction of the discussion to more Miami Heat specific questions. Husaini continued, “The Heat have had many successful seasons and then some less successful seasons, but how do you, as a broadcaster and reporter, maintain the same winning energy even during those slower periods?” Jackson plainly answered that an individual has to remember what they are doing in the first place. “You make sure that you have all the positivity you can muster to make sure that your fan base is satisfied yet informed,” answered Jackson.

To close the conversation, Jackson was asked one last question: what can students do now in college to prepare for employment in the sports world? “Do everything,” said Jackson. “You young men and women have the opportunity to focus on this craft in a way that you will never be able to do it again in your life.”