Adam Giardino, a broadcaster with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, spoke to students about his start in the broadcasting industry and his role as president of the Black Play-by-Play Broadcaster Grant and Scholarship Fund.
Adam Giardino always knew he wanted to be a sports broadcaster, and after 10 years in the industry, he wants to help others achieve that dream, too.
Giardino, a broadcaster for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, is the founder and president of the Black Play-by-Play Broadcaster Grant and Scholarship Fund. The fund, which has grown from its initial $3,000 goal to more than $25,000, provides scholarship money to Black college undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing a career in play-by-play sports broadcasting. At a joint virtual event hosted by Unity in Communications and Elon Sports Vision on Oct. 22, Giardino spoke to students about his path to becoming a broadcaster and what inspired him to create the scholarship fund.
While attending the University of Connecticut, Giardino got his start in broadcasting in the university’s radio station. He served as a broadcaster and sports director as an undergraduate. While Giardino had considered other student media outlets on campus, he said once he broadcasted his first game for the radio station, he knew he found his place on campus.
“Basically, the first game that I did with the radio station, within a week, I was like, ‘Okay, this is it. I don’t want to spend my time doing anything else,’” Giardino said. “If you have that specific interest, let it guide you.”
Following his graduation in 2011, Giardino began broadcasting in the minor leagues, where he has been for the last decade. Now, as a broadcaster for the RailRiders, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, Giardino is like many right now in the sports industry during a pandemic – waiting to return to action.
While he might not be calling games, Giardino is broadcasting his new scholarship and grant fund. Giardino said in his time as a professional broadcaster, he has only come in contact with a few broadcasters who did not look like him, something he hopes to help change with his scholarship fund.
After connecting with Black broadcasters about the scholarship mission, Giardino launched the initiative in June, and hopes to provide both financial and career support to Black broadcasters.
“I think a lot of us in the country with the protest following the George Floyd murder, especially when it came the middle of a pandemic, where maybe some of us weren’t as comfortable going out in a crowd, felt a little helpless and wanted to do more – wanted to make a difference,” Giardino said.
The scholarship application is open through Nov. 10, and can be submitted online here.
For more information about the Unity in Communications program, click here, or contact program adviser Genevieve Barnes (firstname.lastname@example.org). To learn more about Elon Sports Vision, visit the program’s website.