Indiana University is taking a new approach to broadcasting men’s soccer games this year. The university is offering a Spanish radio broadcast for selected matches.
Senior Associate Athletic Director Jeremy Gray says it’s the first time soccer broadcasts have been offered in a language other than English.
The program was born out of IU President Michael McRobbie’s idea to start a Mandarin basketball broadcasting program during the 2015-2016 season. Gray says the success of that program led McRobbie to suggest starting Spanish broadcasts for another sport.
Gray and McRobbie debated between soccer and baseball, but eventually decided on soccer due to the fact that soccer is the main sport in many Spanish speaking countries where many IU students are from.
“I started looking around and trying to find people to do it,” Gray says. “And it turns out there is a student in the Media School who comes from a Spanish speaking family and wanted to be a sports broadcaster and was really excited about the idea of calling games in Spanish.”
“I don’t want to be the first one and the last one. I want to be the first one of many.”
Gray reached out to that student, Ecuador native Juan Diego Alvarado, to broadcast the games for the rest of the season. Alvarado jumped at the opportunity to start the new program at IU.
“I said yes in two seconds because I thought this was going to be a great opportunity to not only do something I like a lot, but to also be someone that’s responsible for gelling the IU soccer team with the huge Latino community we have here in Bloomington,” Alvarado says.
Alvarado announced play-by-play for four men’s soccer matches this season. The athletic department plans to continue and grow the Spanish soccer broadcast program after Alvarado graduates. He hopes to lay a good foundation for the program.
“This was one of my other goals- to set a good base for the next Spanish broadcasters,” Alvarado says. “I don’t want to be the first one and the last one. I want to be the first one of many.”
The broadcasts are only offered during the regular soccer season, which is wrapped up. They can be accessed on IUHoosiers.com.