Philadelphia Union Producer Jordan Strauss visited Rowan University on Monday, Feb. 21, to discuss his meteoric rise in Philly sports media during this week’s “Pizza With the Pros.”
Starting his career as a cable runner for The Phillies post-game, Strauss has worked his way through the ranks to secure a lead producer position for the Union. Since taking the job in 2018, Strauss has produced over 100 telecasts for Major League Soccer (MLS).
“My job is to be a problem solver,” Strauss said.
Using an analogy to describe broadcast conduct, Strauss said that the director is more akin to the head coach of a team, whereas the producer is the owner. Oftentimes, the questions Strauss is tasked to answer are not related to soccer, and more so on the lines of parking and post-telecast meals.
When games are on the line, or in any intense moment, Strauss is required to ensure a calm and prepared environment. His job in these instances is to make sure everyone is in a healthy headspace.
“Diligence and organization,” Strauss said are the best ways to prepare for “deviations to the path.” The path in this case is a perfect broadcast, and deviations meaning anything unexpected. For example, he detailed how his crew needed to be prepared for penalty kicks in the MLS playoffs, as they do not occur in the regular season.
Producing a professional telecast requires extreme teamwork. Luckily for Strauss, the Philadelphia Union has a phenomenal crew. According to Strauss, this resulted in the best local production in MLS, and secured them the first camera-drone in the league.
“That’s a feather in my department’s cap,” Strauss said, deflecting sole responsibility for their success.
The Temple University graduate got his producing career started at NBC Sports Philadelphia, but spent time as a producing assistant at NFL Films. There, Associate Director and Rowan’s own Christopher Winkler worked with Strauss during his sprouting years.
Strauss was “not afraid to speak his mind,” Winkler said. Despite having an assistant role, Strauss would tend to fix situations days before they would arise, and would let his voice be heard in meeting rooms. Winkler stated that he set the standard for producing assistants, letting in on Strauss’s innate sense of organization.
“I was so committed to doing this, by hook or by crook, nobody was gonna tell me I couldn’t do it.” Strauss said.
He emphasized to students in attendance the ability to understand sacrifice, as doing so can only benefit their careers in a competitive job market. Strauss mentioned his six-day work week, and how he does not have free Saturdays for most of the year.
“Everyone’s amount of rope is different,” Strauss said, asking students, “How much are you willing to give up?”
Pizza With the Pros returns next week with former Eagles tackle and College Football Analyst, Barrett Brooks, visiting Rowan University.
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