Young Latino and The ESPN Dream


By Alexandra Lucia
Special To

In the spirit of the recent World Cup games, caught up with Connecticut local Deportes Associate Producer Daniel Martinez about his success of the recently launched segment Fuera de Juego (Offsides) and achieving his dream job: working with ESPN. Martinez says, “As an Associate Producer, it’s my responsibility to cut daily teases for the show.”
Deportes, which is the premier Spanish language sports network was launched in 2004.  It is a 24-hour channel that streams up to date sports news to its Spanish speaking audience.
Since the June start of this year’s World Cup competition, the ESPN Deportes channel has run a special program in the Latin American region of the network to highlight everything World Cup. Known as Fuera de Juego (Offsides), it consists of a daily one hour segment.
Fuera de Juego focuses on pre-game and post-game (World Cup) news and analysis.  During scheduled rest days, the program broadcasts nightly shows that highlight other diverse and special World Cup projects.  Martinez shared details about his responsibilities producing the month long segment, “I work closely with our Production Assistants to complete the daily rundowns, as well as keeping an eye out (and cutting) exciting footage, crowd shots, and instant analysis and reactions.  Then I make sure all the information is accurate and ready to air.”  Martinez is humble, and insists that, “I kind of do a little bit of it all.”
Martinez has been with ESPN since 2010, but has been a Connecticut local for much longer. Originally born in Colombia, he left in 1993 with his mother at the tender age of five so his family could pursue, “the American Dream”.  It wasn’t until 2009, at the start of his twenty first birthday that he was able to return and see a beloved grandma, who he missed so much.  This year, Martinez was recently granted his citizenship, which he considers, “one of the happiest moments of my life.” Although he has many extended family members in Colombia, he is able to connect with them by talking, “through FaceTime and WhatsApp”.  While he has only been back to Colombia once, he assures me that he’s planning a large return visit no later than the beginning of next year.
During his college years, Dan briefly attended Fordham University, eventually graduating from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) in 2011 with a degree in Communications, Media Studies and a Minor in Marketing.  While at Fordham, he managed the basketball team, and worked for the sports radio station “WFUV”.  While deciding to finish his degree at CCSU, he received the opportunity of a lifetime when he was granted a coveted unpaid internship with ESPN in 2010.  He started working as an intern cutting sports highlights in various departments. He then moved up the ranks, eventually landing his dream position as an Associate Producer.
After the results of the final World Cup game and with Germany’s defeat over Argentina of 1-0 in an overtime battle, and the Netherlands and Brazil holding their own as Third and Fourth place competitors, Martinez will certainly have his hands full wrapping up his work on Fuera de Juego.
Martinez assures me that after “the final Fuera de Juego (game) wrap-up, ESPN will go back to previewing Premiere Leagues, and regular reporting”.
This will certainly not be the first of many developments for Martinez; he will still be balancing his time producing a variety of other segments including “#Redes” (the light hearted Monday-Friday instantaneous reaction series) and “Noche de Combates” (boxing).
As for his future and his career goals, Dan says, “Is it wrong to say I truly don’t know?  I love my job and am happy, but I do believe in not settling. I don’t know where my life will take me.”
Photo: Jay Sloves, Elkinson + Sloves, Inc.