A Conversation with Bill Harrington, Officer/Director of Marketing, DSBA

On Monday, July 10th, the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association will be celebrating its         31st Annual Charity Golf Scramble, presented by Farm Bureau Insurance. It will take place at Cherry Creek Golf Club & Banquet Center, and if you have received the official pamphlet in the mail, you will see the name of someone that has been integral to the event for 20 years.

That man is Bill Harrington- a member of the DSBA since 1997.

He took the time to talk about his role as Officer/Director of Marketing for the Association as well as his involvement in the golf outing outlining how it relates to the mission of the organization. As an event that has lasted decades, the outing and association take pride in the various charities that it supports year after year, with a major beneficiary being education.

“We thought, because we’re in the broadcast business, we’d like to support the broadcast curriculums,” Harrington said. “We try to give funds so they can buy teleprompters, computers, cameras, microphones, whatever they need to be able to broadcast either internally, bringing some of the activities that are going on in the school or go out and broadcast games.”

The contributions have extended to the Warren Cousino, Southfield, Grosse Pointe South and North, Farmington, Lake Orion, Montrose, Plymouth-Canton and River Rouge programs. The Student Broadcast Foundation, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Specs Howard, and Spring Arbor College are also beneficiaries in this area.

In addition to education, longstanding relationships with the Michigan Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame as well as Detroit Lions Academy were joined by another notable cause.

“We were involved in a fundraiser with the Detroit Tigers, Lions, Pistons and Red Wings at the Bell’s Beer Port Huron to Mackinac Sailboat Race as well as a program tied to college entitled Set Sail for Autism. We’re going to make a contribution to educating those who are afflicted by autism spectrum disorder.”

Generating $480,000 in gross revenue for these different causes over three decades doesn’t happen without proper management in addition to those familiar faces participating.

“You’ve got the broadcasters out there, the ‘A-Listers,’ [Jim Brandstatter, Dan Miller, Ken Kal, Ken Daniels, Dan Dickerson, Mario Impemba], participating and you want to make sure that the event is first class,” said Harrington, referencing his behind-the-scenes work.

“You stack all the little details together and that’s what makes a good event. Sometimes details are a pain to do, but that’s what differentiates it from being a really professional event to something that’s just normal.”

Over the past two decades there have been a number of stories and experiences that Harrington could share about his involvement in the organization, but regarding the outing, one sticks out involving Eli Zaret.

“Several years ago we started the ‘Chip Champion Challenge.’ We were going to have a chipping contest with all the mascots and needed someone to broadcast it. I called him up and said ‘Eli, you can be the voice.’ He embraced that and we’ve had fun with it. He’s pretty quick witted and comes up with the pretty good one-liners.”

Regarding the level of competition among the participants on the course, the response on who the best golfer is came with a humorous tone.

“It certainly is not one of our broadcasters,” Harrington said with a laugh. “The best foursome out there is led by Jeff Van. They’ve won the event for the last three years in a row and need to build a new shelf to put all these trophies on.”

He made sure not to leave the A-listers out, however.

“As far as the broadcasters go, [the best is] probably Ken Kal, he’s a pretty good golfer. I haven’t looked at Brandstatter’s score, so I don’t know, but, we’ve got some good golfers [nonetheless].”

It’s all in good fun, however, as this year promises to be another positive event for the beneficiaries mentioned.

Registration and breakfast will take place from 7:30-8:55 a.m., with a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m.All Co-Sponsors will be recognized on Charity Golf Scramble Day.

A special thanks goes to Mr. Harrington for his time.

 

Griffin Schroeder

Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association

Last Word on Hockey

Northwood University (’19)

Griffin Schroeder (Associate Editor), Author at Last Word on Hockey