If you know your stuff and want to impart your football wisdom to legions of fans, you could change your career and become a professional football commentator. Far from simply being a pundit, a qualified football commentator can enjoy an immensely rewarding career, getting paid around £80,000 a year on the higher end of the spectrum. Top commentators for broadcasters such as the BBC and Sky Sports can even earn up to seven figures.
Being a full-time football commentator also offers unique opportunities to travel and experience the most exciting, once-in-a-lifetime events in the sporting world. If this is the kind of career that you can get on board with but you don’t know where to start, read this guide to becoming a football commentator to learn more.
Know Your Stuff
The first and most important thing you need to become a successful football commentator is a genuine passion for the sport and deep knowledge of all things football. This goes beyond the technicalities of the game itself. You need to truly be immersed in all of the latest football news, gossip, and politics.
It is also important that you know all of the odds that the bookies are making any time you start commenting, as this will give you an idea of the state of play. A good starting point is to consult authoritative sources of news such as football betting sites where you can find all of the latest news, as well as up-to-date odds on all European leagues. When you know what you are talking about, you already have most of the qualifications for the job.
Although it is not strictly necessary to have formal training to become a sports commentator, it is becoming more and more expected with each passing year. There is a huge variety of top-notch university courses that you can take to get some formal industry accreditation and experience, which could immensely improve your chances of landing a job in this competitive field.
For example, the acclaimed broadcast journalism course at Nottingham Trent University has produced a large number of prominent football commentators, including Adam Summerton (BT), Mark Scott (BBC), and Phil Blacker (Sky).
Get Some Experience
The know-how and the training will only get you some of the way there. It’s also essential that you have plenty of real-world experience to demonstrate your skills and commitment as a football commentator. This will likely mean working for free for a while.
Consider volunteering to comment on charity sports events, or for university fixtures such as varsity. This will also help you get more comfortable with live commentary and ensure that you are able to provide informative and genuinely engaging content. Once you have enough experience under your belt, better gigs will start coming your way.
By following these broad steps, you can begin your journey as a football commentator. Remember, the most important factor for success is you, and your ability to build a unique personal brand that chimes with your audiences.