Erika Fernandez on the connection between music and sports, the benefits of social media

CE: How did you get involved in sports journalism?

EF: Oh man, this career is pushing 9 1/2 years old and it’s still wild to me that i’m here and thankfully thriving. I originally thought I wanted a career in music and then switched to PR, and then I remembered that my passion ultimately lies in sports. I got on Twitter and began live tweeting games, partaking in those conversations, and started to build a following. I got into writing for a few websites and started to get credentialed. I discovered that maybe there’s a connection with social and journalism. I’ve been working in social media now for almost 5 years now and i’m still able to use my journalism skills for social media. It’s been a fun ride because I get to be creative and have a lot of freedom.

CE: Recently I saw you interviewed Jadakiss. He’s one of my favorite rappers of all-time. Do you see a connect between music and sports?

EF: I still cannot believe that I got that interview. He’s one of my favorites of all-time and he doesn’t get the credit that he deserves. I definitely see a connection between music and sports. It’s cool to see him doing his thing and evolving as more than just a rapper. Music is super involved at arenas, ring walk songs, batting up, NBA games, etc. there’s no way people can’t see a connection there.

CE: What are some of your daily tasks as a senior social producer with The Sporting News?

EF: I feel like an eagle sometimes because we’re literally eyeing and monitoring everything. We work across all sports and that can be challenging at first because how do you make sure to not neglect one thing over the other? We also try to elevate our writer’s work across social, although that’s challenging at times due to algorithms. We figure out how to work through it. I also still actively try to get interviews no matter what and of course, where it fits in the business.

CE: Dream interview?

EF: This is a really good question. I’ve gotten some huge names and I’m forever grateful about that. I would say Pedro Martinez, Tim Duncan, Allyson Felix, Serena Williams.

CE: Any advice for someone aspiring to be a journalist?

EF: I would say to use social media to your advantage. Someone is always watching and you never know where your work might end up at. Also, know that it’s okay to have a plan B or C or in the field. It doesn’t mean that you’re any less of a success. Don’t be shy to message journalists as well. Nine times out of 10, we respond but don’t expect a blueprint on a path because our journeys are all so unique. It’s also okay to be optimistic while realistic. You might have to work for free for a little bit but learn to know when you’re getting taken advantage of.