May Program featured James Bates, Fox Sports football broadcaster and owner of b8sy productions

James Bates Discusses His Personal Brand

After he likened his invitation to speak to a room full of public relations professionals to a Mike Myers and Chris Farley SNL skit about not speaking the correct language, James Bates started his presentation with this bit of advice that he had received as a young man, “Take your job and your work seriously, but not yourself.”

A former University of Florida (UF) football player, James is a Fox Sports football broadcaster, painter ( and teaches a play-by-play broadcasting class at UF College of Journalism and Communications. “It’s all about being a passionate storyteller,” said James about being an on-air talent. “As a broadcaster, you want to make the viewer feel like they are at the sports bar with their friends – you want it to be organic. In how many places and in how many ways can someone see the game or read about it? I’ve got to entertain.”

James recently reflected on his time playing at UF with the Florida Gators Softball team at the invitation of Head Coach Tim Walton. “I am so blessed to have played at UF, so I was telling these players about how you can start living in a bubble as a student athlete and taking things for granted.” The two other things James takes seriously are being appreciative and staying positive. “Why would I waste a day by being negative?”

He describes his work as an artist as “folk art and grittiness.” Through, James shares his love for painting.  “I stay true to whom I am – I’ve got to let it (humor) out, but it works and people like it.”

James also shared his experiences working on the film, The Waterboy. He heard about the opportunity from a friend while he was still in Texas. “I just love Sandler, so I drove from Houston to Orlando.” Many auditions and meetings later, he finally met Sandler. “He is a sweet guy and Henry Winkler and Cathy Bates were too. It is so good to meet people who so appreciate life. “

He left us with this thought as we all readied to head back out into the world, “Be you, be true and tell the truth. This way you don’t have to worry about what you said or did.”

That translates just fine. Thanks, James!

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