Ask Marcus White exactly what he does at NBC Sports Bay Area, and expect a long answer. The Los Altos native, officially a content miner for the massive sports network, seems to be doing … well, everything.
“(Content miner) is a position that involves wearing a lot of hats,” White said. “I write for the Great White Blog, at nbcsports.com, and then I also do some copy editing, photo editing, a little bit of video editing as well ... and then some social media management thrown in there.”
White mainly focuses on the San Jose Sharks, writing stories and blog posts, producing video content and editing articles about the hockey team. As if that isn’t enough, he also works on the web desk, editing and optimizing stories for the web and for a mobile app.
It’s no accident that White has taken on a role with so many facets. According to Jacob Sundstrom, White’s former editor at the Sharks’ SB Nation blog, he’s more than the best man for the job.
“(Marcus) is a modest guy, so he might not say this, but he’s one of the most talented people I’ve seen in my time (at Fear the Fin),” Sundstrom said. “I always thought he’d move on to bigger things.”
The “bigger things” Sundstrom speaks of weren’t always part of the plan for White, though. Growing up in Los Altos, he never considered the possibility of a career in sports journalism. In fact, during his high school days at Mountain View High, and through his first year at Syracuse University, White was set on becoming the next great general manager.
“I originally applied (to Syracuse) as a sports management major, and then freshman year, I lived with a bunch of guys on my floor who were all doing student media and stuff,” White said. “I don’t know if I was jealous, per se, but definitely kind of like, ‘Oh man, that seems cool.’”
The summer after his freshman year, White applied “on a whim,” as he says, to an internship at 95.7 The Game, a sports radio station broadcasting out of San Francisco. It was there that the seeds of a career change were planted in White, and those seeds grew during White’s following years at Syracuse.
White jumped on every sports journalism opportunity that he could, from the student television station to NBC Sports summer internships. And though he graduated from Syracuse in 2016 with a dual degree in sports management and broadcast and digital journalism, White was clear on where his future lay.
“I went into school and I wanted to be a sports management major because I wanted to be a general manager, I wanted to be the next Billy Beane in hockey… but I realized that I didn’t want to sell tickets, I didn’t want to do sales, I wanted to do something more,” White said. “It was something that I never put words to, but when I (got into journalism) I realized, ‘Oh, OK, this is what I want to do.’”
And that’s exactly what he’s doing now. As a content miner for NBC, White brings together his experience – the internships, the courses at Syracuse, the student organizations – and the love of sports that he’s carried with him since his days in Los Altos.
“Getting to cover an NHL playoff game, or a playoff game in any professional sport, that’s bucket list material, and to say I got to do that so soon, I’m really grateful for that,” White said.
While he’s already checking items off his bucket list, White still has nearly his whole career ahead of him. And for someone with his experience, right now the world is his oyster.
“As far as where I ultimately want to be? I ask myself that a lot. I don’t necessarily want to just limit myself to writing about hockey, or covering sports in general,” White said. “I’ve definitely developed more of an interest in hard news over the past year and a half, and I think that’d be something I want to explore... Wherever I end up, as long as I’m still involved in journalism, whether that’s sports or news, I think I’ll be happy.”