For this month’s Judge Spotlight, we’re excited to introduce Telly Awards Judge Sofia Lavarello, Communications Consultant for FIFA! Originally from Argentina, Sofia has years of experience in sports journalism covering tournaments and competitions for Fox Sports and Kuarzo Entertainment. In 2021, she moved to the United States and worked for ESPN, covering the Us Open, the Acapulco ATP and various UFC dates. Her latest sports coverage was the Qatar 2022 World Cup as host of FIFA. 

Read our interview with Sofia Lavarello below! 

What was your first job in the industry? What did it teach you?

My first job in the industry was as a production assistant on a television sports show. It taught me the dynamics of being in a live show, managing the relationship with the on-air talents and it gave me the resources for solving unexpected situations. It also taught me to be prepared to be a sports host and to be able to work on it by being one of the hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2022.

What are the best and worst pieces of professional advice you’ve received? 

My worst professional advice was when someone told me that I was not going to make it. That I was not going to be able to make a professional career as a woman in the sports world.

And my best professional advice was given to me by the host of the tv show where I worked who was very generous and told me that I had the personality to do something else. He gave me the courage to look for new professional challenges. 

What’s a creative risk you took recently? How did it turn out? 

During the pandemic, I developed my own podcast (En Busca de algo más), dabbling in a new means of communication, where I told my personal story in the TV industry, until the moment I decided to migrate to the United States.

I didn’t know if it was going to be accepted or not and how the audience was going to receive it and I can say that it went very well and I loved being able to share my story.

What project are you most proud to have worked on?

There are two projects that I was able to realize that had always been a dream for me. One is having worked at the 2021 US Open as an on air talent, and the other was being able to be an on air host at the Qatar 2022 World Cup where I was able to grow professionally.

What’s the best part of your job? What’s the most challenging

The best part of my job is that it allows me to travel to different parts of the world. I get to learn from different cultures and people. 

The biggest challenge is constantly thinking about how to generate content that is different from what is currently on television or in social media in order to make a difference and attract the audience. 

What do you look for when reviewing Telly Award entries? 

I look for them to be creative, that the content they generate is original, different, and that it has an aesthetic sense.