Toronto’s Mia Gordon has established herself as one of Canada’s fastest rising television and sports personalities. She started off her career as a pro tennis player for the Women’s Tennis Association and is now the lead reporter, producer and writer at the National Lacrosse League’s brand new digital TV station. She can be seen hosting her own show on NLL Productions called The Box, where she covers all things lacrosse.
During her career, Gordon has appeared on several network shows including CHCH, Leafs TV, TSN and the CBC, covering all manner of sports. She has also dabbled into the world of live sports as host of the Toronto Rock and host of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Ticats TV.
We caught up with Gordon this week.
Can you briefly describe your career trajectory?
The best way to describe my career trajectory is a mountain range. It has had some amazing peak moments, mixed with some lows. Right now I am definitely at a peak. I always described my dream job as creating and telling the stories of amazing athletes, and that is what I get to do every day working with the National Lacrosse League’s NLL TV.
I get to create stories and help grow a sport I love: lacrosse. I am very excited to see where NLL TV goes in the future and look forward to the journey that it takes me on. I have also started blogging and writing a lot more, and I think in the coming years that will be a growing focus for me.
Walk us through a day in your life.
Every day I get to work on a new and unique story; however on show days, I arrive in the morning and talk with my co-host about the big stories, stats, and plays from the weekend games. We then work together on coming up with a script for the show. I am also in charge of pitching, shooting, writing, and editing a weekly segment called “Outside the Box” where I help our audience get to know the players in the league on a more personal level. So in the morning I may be in the pitching stage running ideas by my boss, or in the interview stage where I am preparing questions to ask that player.
Once the organizing stage is done, it is then time to put a face on and tame my hair because it is go time. We film the show, which usually takes about thirty minutes (we have a pretty awesome blooper reel, let me tell you), and then it is time to edit. I take what we just filmed and create a twenty-two-minute show called The Box. Being a one-woman band or videographer is one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs, because you are responsible for the projects from the first idea to the finish line, but at the end of the day you can say you made this and that feels pretty good
When did you know that sportscaster was the right career for you?
I knew this was the career I wanted to do ever since I was a little girl. I would hold a hair brush in one hand pretending it was a microphone and ask my make-believe celebrity friends questions on the “red carpet.” After an injury stopped my professional tennis career, I decided to go back to my first loves: interviewing and story telling. The best part is I get to combine two of my favourite things: story telling and sports.
What are the most challenging aspects of your career? Most rewarding?
The most challenging aspect is standing out from the crowd. It is amazing to see so many talented sports broadcasters – especially so many talented women – getting into the sports world. So one of the challenges I constantly face is what makes Mia different? I have learned over the time to let your work speak for you, so I keep trying to put the best stories and content forward.
The most rewarding part is seeing that finished product and getting positive reinforcement from it. When a fan or a player tells me they loved my story or a recent show, I’ll be smiling for the rest of the day, that’s for sure.
What motivates you most in your day-to-day life?
I have always been a very motivated person and I think that comes from my professional athletic background. I am also a perfectionist, so I would say that is what motivates me every day. When I wake up every morning, I want today to be better than yesterday. I want this week’s story to be even more inspiring and emotional than last week’s. My want to keep self-improving is what motivates me. That and the amazing team I work with. The National Lacrosse League is a very small team but has extremely hard workers trying to grow an incredible game. To be able to work alongside coworkers – and to see the time they put in – pushes you to give it your all.
Any tips for young women wanting to get started in the sports news/entertainment industry?
My biggest tip is to get experience wherever and whenever you can. The more skills you are able to learn, the more valuable you become. I never thought I would be an editor, producer, camera woman, writer, host, and reporter, but the fact that I have all these skills opens up so many more doors. Don’t say no to a job because it isn’t on air and doesn’t interest you; say yes because it is a chance to challenge yourself and learn.
Networking is key. The more you are able to get your name out there, the more opportunities will come your way. Also never give up. Trust me, I have had my moments where I wanted to throw in the towel, but if you truly love doing this, and you keep working at it, you will get your moment to shine, I promise!