Thu. May 23rd, 2019

How Does Sports Radio Program Mother’s Day?

“You probably can’t turn on a sports radio station and not hear a “Shari’s Berries” or “ProFlowers” live read or commercial. But what have stations done/what are they doing to actually celebrate Moms on Mother’s Day?”

Certainly Father’s Day has always been thought of as a great spot to do special programming on sports radio. It’s mostly a male-dominated format plus the final round of the US Open Golf Tournament is always on Father’s Day. And let’s not overlook the fact that the large majority of sports radio hosts are male, so lots of promotions and programming is focused around that holiday.

Mother’s Day has typically been a different story. From an ad sales standpoint, you probably can’t turn on a sports radio station and not hear a “Shari’s Berries” or “ProFlowers” live read or commercial. But what have stations done/what are they doing to actually celebrate Moms on Mother’s Day?

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My personal Mother’s Day radio story meant a lot to me and probably more to my mother. At the time I was the associate producer at The Score in Chicago for “The Heavy Fuel Crew” afternoon show hosted by Dan McNeil and Terry Boers. Somehow Dan and Terry were able to take this pretty plain segment and make it entertaining. 

Previously one of them had thought my mom’s name was Barbara while the other knew correctly that it was Carole. So in a very Dan-Terry move they took to calling her “Barbara Carole.” She was on the air for five minutes and we heard her signature laugh and it was a special moment they had created for their AP and an entertaining one for their audience.

There have been some successful and unsuccessful attempts at capitalizing on the Mother’s Day holiday at different stations. ESPN 1000 in Chicago’s Adam Delevitt shared a story of a failed Mom’s roundtable. They had their hosts’ moms on for the roundtable which he called “more of a disaster than anything.” Nowadays, Adam says he lets his talent decide how they want to incorporate their wife or Mother into their shows as the holiday approaches.

My favorite Mother’s Day focused sports radio special airs every year on SiriusXM’s NASCAR radio. Host, reporter, talent Claire B. Lang has been doing her Mother’s Day special for more than ten years. The two-hour special typically features interviews with NASCAR wives, mothers and VIPs. I caught up with Claire B and learned about her inspiration for this show:

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The idea for Dialed In to Mother’s Day actually came from the respect and admiration I have for the women behind the scenes in NASCAR who hold the families together, travel a crazy schedule and somehow create a normal family life on the road and raise wonderful respectful children in a fishbowl with a lot of media attention.

I’ve often told the NASCAR drivers how lucky they are to be able to spend their lives racing and pursuing their dream and to also be able to have a family. All credit to the women behind the scenes. In turn, the moms of the drivers, many of them gave up a great deal to support the passion of their racing offspring on their way to superstar status and all of them lent attributes to their race car driving sons (and daughters). 

Covering NASCAR, living in the garage and traveling with the sport – these stories jumped out at me – I witnessed so much behind the scenes that needed to be told. This project is a labor of love for moms everywhere and a tribute to those moms who are the hub of the wheel in NASCAR.

SiriusXM’s Claire B. Lang 

This year’s special is true to that vision. Guests include:

  • Amy Earnhardt – wife of Dale Earnhardt Jr and mother to their one-year old daughter Isla Rose
  • Pam Boas-the mother of Tony Stewart. With a cameo from Tony in the studio with Claire
  • Lora Bowyer wife of MENCS racer Clint Bowyer
  • Kaitlyn Larson wife of MENCS racer Kyle Larson
  • Aric Amirola’s wife, Janice and his mother Lynette Drawdy–better known as YaYa

Plus, Claire has a feature on Dale Earnhardt Jr’s mother Brenda Jackson who passed away in April. The feature includes a classic interview Claire did with Dale’s mother during a previous special. 

Dialed In to Mothers Day will premiere on Saturday (2p-4p ET), with replays on 5/12 at 9p ET and 5/13 at 5a ET.  It will also be available through “On Demand” with the SiriusXM app starting 5/11.

What the Dialed In to Mothers Day special shows, is that you can use a holiday, like Mother’s Day to create incredible, unique programming that no one else is doing. But like most truly special programming, it takes an enormous amount of thought, planning, and work to make it happen.

Happy Mothers Day!