Standard requirements for being a sports reporter usually include—but are not limited to—multimedia skills, writing expertise, a vast knowledge of sports and a degree in Journalism. Auburn University’s next sports reporter, however, will only need two things: a bold personality and breath that still hints of Similac.
This season, the Auburn University Athletics Department is offering kids between the ages of 5 and 12 a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the very first Auburn Junior Reporter.
Cassie Arner, Assistant Athletic Director of Public Relations for Auburn University, believes the program will create a new, exciting outlet for fans. “The purpose of the Junior Reporter program is to give our fans another avenue to kind of express their love for Auburn. What better way to do that than with kids?” she said.
The chosen reporter will cover all 21 Auburn athletic programs, be featured in approximately 10 video packages throughout the 2012-2013 season (depending on location), and reach Auburn fans through various social media outlets. As a reporter the winner will also get to know student athletes on camera by covering practices, events and special events tailored to them.
The contest was inspired by Joey the Junior Reporter, a 5-year-old media magnet for the NHL Chicago Blackhawks who garnered both league and YouTube fame for his youthful—and charming in a way that only a kid his age could be—take on sports, Blackhawk players, and opposing fans. Joey’s talents were even enlisted earlier this year for the NHL All-Star festivities.
And now Auburn University is seeking that same magnetic energy in one of its many young fans.
Due to Auburn’s popularity and deep fan base, the chances of the winning reporter quickly transforming into a mini-celebrity (literally and figuratively) are quite high. For this reason, personality alone won’t be enough.
“We're looking for stage presence. There are a lot of kids out there that have great personalities, but sometimes, when the camera is turned on, they get a little nervous and a little shy. So we're looking to make sure that same personality comes through on camera,” Arner said.
The application deadline is Sept. 10. Applicants may audition via YouTube. A link to the video should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Junior Reporter” in the subject line. Along with the link, the email should include the child’s name, date of birth, school grades, hometown, names and ages of siblings, and names of parents or legal guardians.
According to Arner, the department is “very impressed” with auditions so far. “I told them you can do anything from interviewing the family dog to coming in and just telling about how much you love Auburn. We just want to get a good idea of personality and stage presence so that when we bring them in we know what we've got.”
Applicants may be brought in for on-campus auditions to select a final candidate. The winner will be determined after a five to 10 day grace period.
“I think this would be a dream for any Auburn young fan. I think our fans will be very pleased and entertained by the submissions we've gotten so far,” Arner said.
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