Our friends at GW Today caught up with recent graduate, Austin Schindel, ESIA BA ’12, who is spending the year as Comcast’s social media sports reporter:
Austin Schindel is known by another name these days. For the last few months, he’s traveled to major sporting events around the country as “The XFINITY Sports Guy,” the voice of Comcast’s XFINITY Sports’ social media handles, including the Twitter handle, @XFINITYSports.
To get the job, he had to beat out hundreds of applicants for the yearlong post, which was the winning prize of XFINITY’s Ultimate Sports Social Media Job contest. The contest was a three-month process requiring videos, fan voting and an on-site test for the final five finalists. Schindel’s test was covering the 2012 WGC Cadillac Championship in Doral, Fla., for the Golf Channel.
“I knew that my knowledge of sports and media put me in a position where I would be able to successfully represent XFINITY Sports,” he said. “I knew I wanted to do something in sports after GW, and this job offered me the opportunity to get into a fast-paced and interesting job right out of college.”
As XFINITY’s social media reporter, Schindel has attended the Philadelphia Phillies’ opening day, the 2012 NFL draft and the controversial Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley fight in Las Vegas, sharing behind the scenes content with fans along the way.
“It has been challenging finding new ways to engage fans and influences in different sports, but I’ve embraced it,” he said. “I find interesting facts and articles to share with the sports communities in addition to showing how XFINITY is truly your home for the most live sports.”
“I have been given an incredible opportunity to travel all over the country and look forward to all of the different ventures,” he added.
Social media appeals to Schindel in large part because he believes it’s become an integral part of the sports experience.
“A recent stat shows that almost 80 percent of people are on social media during sporting events, while 65 percent use it in general,” he said. “It’s created a community atmosphere that allows you to rejoice with fellow fans and feud with rivals.”
Although he now has access to the nation’s top professional teams, Schindel was able to nurture his love of sports while a student at George Washington, working as an intern with the Washington Redskins and the Washington Nationals—opportunities he said he was “only able to get by attending college in our nation’s capital.”
“GW has taught me the value of professionalism and hard work,” he said, “both qualities that I bring to my work every day.”