Wearing Her Game Face
Kelli Bartik ‘03 Living the Dream of a Sports Anchor
“Some of my first memories were watching game film with my dad. I always loved the game of football; I always loved sports and knew that I wanted to be involved in sports somehow when I grew up,” says Kelli Bartik ’03, sports anchor for Fox Charlotte.
Bartik moved around a lot growing up. Her father was a football coach in places like Montana, Georgia and Oklahoma. But Bartik says that no matter where they traveled there was always one place that felt like home - the football fi eld. “We never had babysitters growing up; we just went to the practice field,” she said. “There was no better place to be.”
That exposure to football early in her life helped establish a love for sports that has lasted throughout her entire life and eventually impacted her career choice. “Being around this atmosphere is so much fun and doesn’t seem like work most of the time.”
In many ways, Bartik says she has Gardner-Webb to thank for where she is now. “I did an internship at Fox Charlotte when I was at Gardner-Webb. I had the chance to work with reporters and took advantage of all of the opportunities I could,” noted Bartik. “Internships allow you to make connections, make an impact and make an impression.”
Upon graduation, Bartik was offered a job at a TV station in Billings, Mont., where she worked as a news and sports reporter. In 2004, a job opened up at Fox Charlotte working the assignment desk (where Bartik says she worked the hardest job in the newsroom). Later she got a call that changed her life. “One day a reporter was out sick and someone said ‘Kelli can do it.’ It was a live shot and I had only done two of those in my life (and they were very bad). But I went out there and nailed it. Every chance I got I jumped on it,” she said. “You have to step outside of your comfort zone and take chances. After a few months, I started filling in as a news reporter and anchored on Saturdays. Then I became a full-time reporter, and when the sports position opened up, I went after it and got it.”
Bartik now finds herself covering the NFL, NBA and NASCAR in a major TV market and spends her days and nights researching, writing and anchoring sports news for audiences in the Carolinas. She also serves as co-host for a 30-minute sports-talk show each Sunday night called “Got Game.”
Bartik has also interviewed major sports fi gures including: Michael Jordan, Terry Bradshaw, Tiger Woods, Joe Montana and numerous Carolina Panther players.
Sports coverage is mostly a male-dominated media, but that does not discourage Bartik, in fact she thrives on the challenge. “I always wanted to do something like this, but never thought I’d be doing sideline reporting for Fox during an NFL game,” said Bartik. “That is something I’ll never forget.”
Bartik has also been honored by The Radio-Television News Directors Association, for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism. She is actively involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Charlotte and dedicates her spare time to mentoring students who desire a career in broadcasting.