Sports Industry Speakers Join Weeks Two and Three

Published on April 20, 2020

As the second and third weeks of the Newhouse Sports Media Center’s Online Speaker Series came to a close, students, alumni, faculty and staff gained knowledge, advice and motivation to hopefully fuel them into their present or future careers. Speakers ranged from an NFL play-by-play announcer to VPs of an agency and PR firm and a CBS Sports Analyst. Each event had approximately 40 students in attendance.

NFL play-by-play announcer, Andrew Siciliano ’96 recalled industry speakers during his time at Newhouse. “We had people like Bob Costas and Mike Tirico who’d do stuff like this for us when we were in school.” He noted those alumni taking their time to speak with him and other students as one of many reasons why he always makes time for students. “Everyone paid it forward when we were in school. So we’re just trying to do the same,” said Siciliano.

Alumni and students alike, everyone is home in front of some type of screen for hours at a time. Students are managing classes and alumni are continuing their careers, alumni like Gideon Cohen ’00, recommended that students, “develop a new skill, create a podcast or YouTube show,” he said. “This is temporary. While it’s not great at the moment, it’s an opportunity.”

Siciliano remains on air by doing top of the hour news updates and Total Hour Access in a second bedroom and a camera at home, along with a host of producers working from home. “We’re experimenting to be going on air, but right now 30-minute shows are taped segment to segment with producers linking b-roll and graphics to them,” Siciliano said. He explained that CNN or FOX stays on-air by running parallel control rooms, doing things you’d normally have in one room in multiple, but the NFL is shut down because they’re not considered essential.

Scott Pioli G’05, is a CBS Sports Analyst, five-time NFL Executive of the year and three-time Super Bowl champion. Throughout his lengthy career, he’s had to find a happy medium between work and family, a question commonly asked by students. “You are going to be very passionate and your job needs to be taken seriously but if I could do anything differently, I would have a better balance and realize that there will be things in life much more important than our jobs,” Pioli said. He told students to maintain a similar balance in their careers as they do while in college, but regardless of the situation, to remain focused. “There’s always going to be reasons to not finish something you started. A job, school, or relationship, said Pioli. “There are a lot of reasons to say no or stop but if you want to complete something, it’ll essentially pay off.” Cohen gave similar advice, noting those who work hard and encompass talent are the ones who “make it” in the media industry. “A lot of people give up or don’t necessarily want to play the game,” said Cohen. “They don’t want to self-improve or network, and a lot of [those] people who don’t advance wonder why it’s not happening for them.”

Dave Donovan ’92, Executive VP and Director of Sports for DKC, a PR firm had an intimate, off-the-record conversation with students.

With varied experiences at Newhouse and Syracuse overall, all speakers agreed that the time spent and connections made as an Orange are still paying off. As Cohen paid homage to Sandy Montag as “the OG of the agency business,” he noted that they only talk about SU alums at The Montag Group. Siciliano said, “the Syracuse degree is powerful, but the Syracuse network is more powerful.” Pioli values the legacy he leaves behind for the family he’s created, and the #NewhouseMafia. “Right now, you are not thinking about legacy, but your legacy really is about how many people you help,” said Pioli.

If students didn’t take away anything from the week’s series, Pioli’s words could resonate with them, especially during times of uncertainty. “All of us, even the best of us end up in the middle. You have good days and you have bad days but as long as you stay on track, you’ll end up on top.”As the second week of the Newhouse Sports Media Center’s Online Speaker Series came to a close, students gain knowledge, advice and motivation to hopefully fuel them into their future sports careers. Speakers ranged from an NFL play-by-play announcer to VPs of an agency and PR firm and a CBS Sports Analyst. Each event had approximately 40 students in attendance.

NFL play-by-play announcer, Andrew Siciliano ’96 recalled industry speakers during his time at Newhouse. “We had people like Bob Costas and Mike Tirico who’d do stuff like this for us when we were in school.” He noted those alumni taking their time to speak with him and other students as one of many reasons why he always makes time for students. “Everyone paid it forward when we were in school. So we’re just trying to do the same,” said Siciliano.

Alumni and students alike, everyone is home in front of some type of screen for hours at a time. Students are managing classes and alumni are continuing their careers, alumni like Gideon Cohen ’00, recommended that students, “develop a new skill, create a podcast or YouTube show,” he said. “This is temporary. While it’s not great at the moment, it’s an opportunity.”

Siciliano remains on air by doing top of the hour news updates and Total Hour Access in a second bedroom and a camera at home, along with a host of producers working from home. “We’re experimenting to be going on air, but right now 30-minute shows are taped segment to segment with producers linking b-roll and graphics to them,” Siciliano said. He explained that CNN or FOX stays on-air by running parallel control rooms, doing things you’d normally have in one room in multiple, but the NFL is shut down because they’re not considered essential.

Scott Pioli G’05, is a CBS Sports Analyst, five-time NFL Executive of the year and three-time Super Bowl champion. Throughout his lengthy career, he’s had to find a happy medium between work and family, a question commonly asked by students. “You are going to be very passionate and your job needs to be taken seriously but if I could do anything differently, I would have a better balance and realize that there will be things in life much more important than our jobs,” Pioli said. He told students to maintain a similar balance in their careers as they do while in college, but regardless of the situation, to remain focused. “There’s always going to be reasons to not finish something you started. A job, school, or relationship, said Pioli. “There are a lot of reasons to say no or stop but if you want to complete something, it’ll essentially pay off.” Cohen gave similar advice, noting those who work hard and encompass talent are the ones who “make it” in the media industry. “A lot of people give up or don’t necessarily want to play the game,” said Cohen. “They don’t want to self-improve or network, and a lot of [those] people who don’t advance wonder why it’s not happening for them.”

Dave Donovan ’92, Executive VP and Director of Sports for DKC, a PR firm had an intimate, off-the-record conversation with students.

With varied experiences at Newhouse and Syracuse overall, all speakers agreed that the time spent and connections made as an Orange are still paying off. As Cohen paid homage to Sandy Montag as “the OG of the agency business,” he noted that they only talk about SU alums at The Montag Group. Siciliano said, “the Syracuse degree is powerful, but the Syracuse network is more powerful.” Pioli values the legacy he leaves behind for the family he’s created, and the #NewhouseMafia. “Right now, you are not thinking about legacy, but your legacy really is about how many people you help,” said Pioli.

If participants didn’t take away anything from the weeks’ series, Pioli’s words could resonate with them, especially during times of uncertainty. “All of us, even the best of us end up in the middle. You have good days and you have bad days but as long as you stay on track, you’ll end up on top.”