This week’s Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight Nathan Laird has been working at Region Sports Network (RSN) for 10 years. As the Sports Director, he works non-stop to help deliver game coverage and updates to everyone in the region. RSN covers athletic events for high schools and youth sports in the area.
Laird says his favorite part of the job is how fast paced it is and all the different things he gets to do. He starts off his day with a set agenda then tons of things come up like breaking news, website maintenance, tape segments and more.
He has always loved sports as a kid while growing up in Hammond, Ind. He remembers distinctly when he was a kid in elementary school, he was asked what the four seasons were and his answer was “Baseball, football, basketball and hockey.” Laird says that it was destiny that he work in sports.
He went to college at Ball State University and graduated with Sports Administration and Marketing in 2006. He also interned at Indiana Ice, a United States Hockey League team.
After graduation he immediately got married the very next month, in June and needed to find a job, so he started at RSN and instantly fell in love with the media portion of the job.
Football season is a big deal in Northwest Indiana and a very busy time for Laird and RSN. Laird says that RSN is a lot different than most jobs, where instead of working through the week and finishing off on Friday, RSN builds up to Friday. Friday is a big day at RSN because it’s when most of the region’s football games take place and it’s when they hold their pre-game show, which Laird co-hosts along with the postgame show.
“Friday’s are 16 hour days for me, but they’re fun!” says Laird. “The day is spent testing broadcasting equipment, making sure commercials are ready and overall, just preparing for the pre-game show. “
The most stressful part of the day is the hour before they go live for their pre-show, says Lair. But the best part is shortly after, when the show is finally off the ground.
“Once we are actually on the air it’s fun when you are producing a live broadcast,” Laird explained.
Before social media blew up, Laird says that the post-game show used to be the place to get scores, but now if RSN doesn’t give out scores on social media during games he gets messages from people in the region asking for them. RSN is also able to get highlights up immediately instead of days later.
“It’s allowed us to reach a whole new audience.” said Laird.
Laird’s wife Nicole is currently works with students and teachers as a guided reading instructor at Merrillville Intermediate School. They have two daughters together, Zoe who is 6 years old and Violet who is 4. Zoe currently attends Beiriger Elementary School in Griffith as a 2nd grader. Laird is very proud of his daughters. Zoe is ahead of the pack at school, having skipped most of Kindergarten.
In his spare time, Laird likes to brew his own beer from home, which he started doing a couple years ago. “I’ve always enjoyed going to the few local brewers in the area” said Laird. So his wife went out and got him his own home brewing system and the rest was history.
“My collection of equipment has expanded big time,” said Laird. “I now have a fridge with full kegs in it with taps on the door.”
The producing and cooking of the brews actually allows him to spend more time with his daughters. “It’s a weird hobby to bond over and do with your kids, but it’s a good way for us to just sit and talk and have fun.”
Laird said that it’s like when you bake with your kids. His girls like to watch, talk with him, hand him ingredients and even help him name the brews. But don’t worry, Laird said, “I may have told them beer is poison only mommies and daddies can drink.”
He also likes to read a lot, play video games sometimes, and every Tuesday he plays trivia at a brewery in Griffith with his brothers and friends.