It’s a year-long full-time position, comes with a salary and involves tweeting and presumably comes with all expenses paid, but for Austin Schindel, his competition prize will hardly seem like a job at all.
The sports fan from Washington, D.C. has just been announced as the winner of an Xfinity Sports contest which will see him travel the length and breadth of the country, tweeting live updates from some of the biggest and best sporting events — including NFL and NBA games — as he goes.
And if that’s not enough to make you feel at least a little bit envious, Schindel will also get behind-the-scenes access to a number of sports shows and have the chance to interview famous sports personalities too.
Schindel, a senior at George Washington University, was announced as the winner of the Ultimate Sports Social Media Job Contest on Friday.
“I was the winner of a pipe dream,” he said in an interview with SB Nation.
To have a chance of bagging the top prize, entrants had to submit a video demonstrating their love of sports, as well as their knowledge and understanding of social media.
Schindel’s video saw him through to the final stage of the competition, whereupon each of five hopefuls were sent to cover a specific sports event — Schindel reported on the Cadillac World Golf Championship event in Florida, meeting ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi and presenting a slot on the Golf Channel’s ‘Morning Drive’ show in the process.
Schindel, a die-hard sports fan since the age of six, said he was pretty confident he had a decent chance of winning the top prize.
“I knew I was a solid candidate for this job because frankly, sports are not a job or a career to me; it’s a lifestyle,” he said, pointing out that he’s also spent time working as a media intern for the Washington Redskins, and writes occasionally for BleacherReport.com.
Social media reporter
“If I’m able to wake up and represent Xfinity as a social media reporter, I’ll never work a day in my life. This is a culmination of all the hard work, late nights, and the long hours I’ve put in to making my dream a reality.”
On the subject of how social media has changed how fans experience sports, Schindel said he’s excited by the fact that the line between fans, athletes and reporters is now blurring.
“While there will always be a place for reporters and sports journalists, the give and take has come to the point where we are truly getting the best information possible as sports fans,” he told SB Nation.
He added, “I love the idea that anyone with a great tweet or a funny sports picture can get themselves noticed. My goal is to become intertwined with my followers and constantly retweet and converse with everyone.”
As part of his prize, Schindel will also be taking delivery of a brand new home entertainment system featuring all the latest gear. Schindel’s looking forward to one piece of kit in particular.
“Without a doubt, it’s the 3D TV. With the Olympics coming up this summer, I can only imagine what it will look like when Usain Bolt takes off or seeing the new Dream Team throwing up alley-oops. This will take sports viewing to a whole new level. I’m very excited.”
Schindel will be tweeting here so be sure to check him out to see what he’s getting up to. Just don’t turn too green though.