MarketInk: From Sod Poodles to Padres, Sam Levitt jumps to Big League Radio
At 30, Sam Levitt says he’s ready to jump into the Big League.
After spending time as a play-by-play radio announcer with several minor league baseball clubs, including the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod League in Massachusetts, Corpus Christi Hooks in Texas, Gateway Grizzlies in the area of St. Louis and, most recently, the Amarillo Sod Poodles, Levitt was called up to the San Diego Padres.
Levitt has been named the new host of pre-game and post-game shows on the Padres radio network, which includes KWFN 97.3 FM The Fan of San Diego, the ball club’s English-language flagship station, as well as several other stations in California and Arizona.
In 2021, pre-game and post-game hosts for Padres radio included Chris Ello, Braden Surprenant and Matt Skraby.
“I’m ready for the jump,” Levitt told The San Diego Times. “I’ve been calling minor league baseball games piecemeal for eight years. I have baseball experience and radio experience. I am extremely grateful that this work has opened up. I’m incredibly excited. I can’t wait for opening day.
Levitt grew up on Long Island, New York as a Mets fan. “My family members are all Mets fans,” Levitt said. “In high school, I would go alone to Shea Stadium, sit on the top deck and listen to the show on my transistor radio. Baseball has always held a special place in my heart.
“Baseball is such an awesome game. I love the crowd buzz, the pace of the game, the ups and downs, which really reflect life itself. For six months every year, baseball is always there. It’s reliable. Every evening you can turn on the radio or television and watch a football match. »
Levitt was planning a medical career when he enrolled in 2010 at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. “It wasn’t until my second year in college that I seriously considered broadcasting,” he said. “I started calling games with the student radio station, then moved into broadcast journalism as my major and haven’t stopped since.”
While still a student, Levitt worked as a play-by-play announcer on the Big Ten Network for Northwest sporting events including football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and softball. He was also a producer, presenter and reporter for “SportsNight”, a weekly North West athletics television show. During the summers of 2012 and 2013, he also traveled to Cape Cod as play-by-play broadcaster for all 44 regular season games and postseason games for the Firebirds.
After graduating from Northwestern in 2014, Levitt worked as a play-by-play television and radio host for minor league baseball and track and field games, including Gateway Grizzlies and Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville (2014- 2016), Corpus Christi Hooks (2017-2018) and Loyola University Chicago (2018-2022). He has been heard on the Big Ten Network, NBC Sports Chicago, ESPN-Plus, Spectrum Sports Texas and Learfield IMG College Sports.
“Each stop along the way I learned something new and grew as a person and as a professional,” Levitt said.
In 2019, it became the “Voice of the Sod Poodles”, a Double-A baseball team that was affiliated with the Padres at the time and, later, the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was named Minor League Baseball’s 2021 Broadcaster of the Year by Ballpark Digest.
“As the farm team for the Padres, I got to know several Padres broadcast managers, which was definitely helpful during the interview process for this job,” Levitt said. “Ever since I was in college, my goal has always been to be on a Major League Baseball broadcast team. I’m so grateful to 97.3 The Fan and the Padres organization for believing in me. I look forward to covering a team with World Series aspirations, while interacting with San Diego’s incredible fanbase on radio, social media and beyond.
Levitt said his personal TikTok account has over 355,000 followers and 60 million video views.
Levitt hasn’t been on the air for spring training games. Padres radio listeners will hear it for the first time on the opening day of the regular season this Thursday, April 7, when the Padres are in Arizona to face the Diamondbacks. The Padres’ play-by-play announcers for the 2022 season include Jesse Agler and color analyst Tony Gwynn, Jr.
The start of the 2022 season has been delayed for a week until a new collective agreement is signed between owners and players.
KGB-FM celebrates its 50th anniversary
San Diego classic rock radio station KGB FM 101.5, operated by iHeart San Diego, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with an event held in the parking lot of its Kearny Mesa studios. The station, whose roots date back to the 1920s, launched its progressive, album-oriented rock music format in 1972.
Held on Friday April 1, the event featured a live morning show from the DSC Show with appearances from former DJs including Jeff Prescott, Michael Berger, Coe Lewis, Shotgun Tom Kelly and Jim McInnes. The DSC Show, launched as Dawn Patrol on April 1, 1990, also celebrated its 32nd anniversary.
For an aerial photo, several hundred people lined up to form “50” and “KGB”. Among the personalities present were Ted Giannoulas, playing the role of the San Diego Chicken, and live music from the Sully Band. Vintage cars and motorcycles from 1972 were also on display. The City of San Diego declared April 1 as 101.5 KGB Radio Day.
The 101.5-FM frequency was originally signed to the airwaves in 1950 as KSON-FM. The frequency switched to the KGB in the 1960s. KGB call letters have been around since the 1920s. In 1928, Pickwick Broadcasting purchased the station, and George Bowles was appointed vice-president and station manager. Bowles reportedly changed KFBC’s call letters to KGB to reflect his name.
San Diego’s Gestalt Brand Lab helps rethink salt packaging
Gestalt Brand Lab, a brand and marketing agency in San Diego, announced that it had completed a packaging redesign for salt packer United Salt Corp. of Houston. The new look spanned product lines spanning commercial, industrial and consumer applications, Gestalt said.
According to a Gestalt statement, United Salt retained Imagination Café, a Houston-based brand development company, to develop the core brand platform message, which was “We do what we do. for the love of salt”. This led to a refined positioning statement, a new logo and a new slogan, which was “We are United Salt Corporation. It starts at the source.
United Salt has also partnered with Gestalt to develop a unifying design concept and aesthetic across United Salt’s portfolio of sub-brands, including Flavor House, Melt Away, Ranch House, Sea & Land, Tru-Flo, Tru-Soft and a new industrial line planned. for a launch later this year.
In 2020, United Salt made the strategic decision to refresh the company’s global brand. “We knew our core brand had equity that was not fully realized,” said Marcie Peters, President and CEO. “We wanted to unlock that equity, create differentiation and drive value across our entire brand portfolio.”
Gestalt Managing Director Brian Munce said: “Our aim was to express the company’s incredible long-term commitment to its customers and generations of personal relationships and quality products across a group of ranges. of very diverse products. USC has a huge reach and its customers need everything from traditional food flavorings and seasonings to brining, defrosting and water softening. We needed to ensure a cohesive and modernized brand portfolio with very unique target audiences. »
Brian Lee, Founder and President of Imagination Café, said, “The strategic collaboration between Imagination Cafe and Gestalt Lab has harnessed the creative minds of highly experienced teams to produce an exceptional result that reflects the core principles of the United Salt brand. enterprise-wide.
Gestalt’s Creative Director, Chad Farmer, said: “Each package now features the primary United Salt brand logo prominently in the upper right corner and each product introduces consumers to individual products, from people to livestock, to reflect the company’s customer-centric brand orientation. ”
Gestalt Brand Lab was founded in December 2019 by Farmer and Munce, two former employees of the Lambesis Agency, a high-profile San Diego advertising agency that closed in 2019.
Magic 92.5 offers $12,000 in free gas
San Diego radio station XHRM-FM Magic 92.5 is offering $12,000 in free gas.
On weekdays through Friday, April 15, the 92nd listener who calls and identifies the “magic song of the day” will receive a $500 gas card, the station said. Only local San Diego County residents are eligible for the gas card. Additional opportunities to win a $500 Gas Card are available at magic925.com.
“Right now everyone is feeling the pain at the pump and we’re happy to offer a little relief,” said Randy Williams, Magic 92.5 program director and afternoon host who goes by the name R- Dub. “While other radio stations have fun with these awkward national contests, it feels good to fill the tanks of so many San Diegans. That’s the best part of being a local radio station, giving back to our local listeners who live right here in San Diego like us.
Palomar Health sponsors the essence gift.
Magic 92.5 is owned by Local Media San Diego, which also owns and operates XHTZ-FM Z90.3, XTRA-FM 91X and KFBG-FM 100.7.
Rick Griffin is a public relations and marketing consultant based in San Diego. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in the Times of San Diego.