Welcome back to Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Our latest guest is German Football Commentator, Robert Hunke.
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
I’m Robert Hunke and I am the topflight game football commentator for ARD, one of the main German television channels and biggest European broadcaster. I used to be the youngest reporter there from 2010 at 26 years old. From 2017-2019 I was the live commentator for the UEFA Champions League at DAZN and for the Bundesliga Friday night game for Eurosport.
For Eurosport I used to commentate on ice hockey during the 2020 Olympic Games, I came back to work for ARD afterwards. For this channel I commentate not only on football, I am the reporter for the beach volleyball world cups as well.
What do you do in your current role?
Every Saturday I commentate on the topflight game of the Bundesliga for “ARD Sportschau” comparable to BBC’s ‘Match of the Day’. With my two colleagues we work twice a week in different BUNDESLIGA stadiums. They help me with information about the players and tactics. For Swiss Internet TV Blue by Swisscom, I commentate on the topflight games of the UEFA Champions League as well.
What does a normal week look like for you?
Usually, I start to prepare on Wednesday for the match. I analyse the tactics of the teams and read a lot about both clubs. I have the telephone number of all the managers and sometimes we have calls for two hours in preparation of the matches.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
When I was 7 years old, I watched every game of the 1990 World Cup in Italy. From this point on I knew I wanted to be a TV football reporter. I studied sports journalism in Cologne and started to report for local radio stations. I sometimes lecture for my university where I studied to talk to students about how to become a reporter.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
During Covid it is a privilege to go to the stadiums for your work. I love the smell of the grass. I love the thrill of commentating live to 5-6 million spectators in front of the TV.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
Like the manager I look at the tactics the teams are playing and love to entertain the people while creating new words every day. Before the match I am always a little nervous. But when the referee blows the whistle it’s over, like a football player 😉
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Practice, practice, practice! I worked for low pay for two years, just to get a chance to commentate on games in the 4th division. You have to see clearly that nobody is waiting for you.
I had the luck to get famous in February/March 2020 when I commentated from my window what happened in front of my street. I put the videos in Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. So, I had a viral social media hit. But not everybody has that luck to get famous from one day to the other. When you want to be loved, find yourself another job. Sport is emotion. You can get a lot of hate as well, so be prepared for that.
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider with Robert Hunke! If you want to read more from the series, you can do so by clicking here.