Sky Sports F1's Georgina Sadler: “I live and breathe this sport”
Georgina Sadler grew up with motorsport – not only did her dad watch Formula 1 on TV, but he also competed in motocross – however, it wasn’t until she landed her role as Assistant Producer at Sky Sports F1 did she realise just how much she loves this sport.
Georgina has worked in multiple sports prior to reaching F1, including equestrian and football. However, pursuing a career in TV broadcasting has always been an aim for her since she left university, after studying Graphic Design.
“Picking a discipline like TV broadcasting or producing can really take you on a journey in sports,” Georgina tells Females in Motorsport. “Having a background in a wide range of sports is valuable.”
Having that one goal, Georgina believes, is what made her try out different roles in different sports; she’s worked in polo, for Arsenal Football Club and with Budweiser, for Bud Football.
When she started in polo Georgina was a camerawoman, but that role quickly evolved into editing the footage and making highlights packages for the teams. Then, the clubs wanted the games live streamed, and shortly after, ESPN wanted the feed so she became a director. Her role in polo was so involved that when she moved to Arsenal, she was able to funnel down exactly what she wanted to produce.
“My role with Arsenal was involved with the media days that we had once a month with the players,” she says. “It was a diverse range of content that we were producing.”
That content included pieces for partners like Emirates and Octopus Energy. Georgina had to edit her own features by using software like Premiere Pro, and often having discussions and meetings with different departments, from events and corporate to ticket sales.
“When I was at Arsenal and moulding myself to being an assistant producer and understanding that role, I made the foundation to come into Sky Sports F1,” Georgina says. “Now, I’m fully immersed in the real broadcasting.”
Whilst working at Arsenal, Georgina used to attend the IBC Broadcast event in Amsterdam because of her passion for learning about new technology. Also, she used to attend – and still does attend – SVG Europe women’s events.
“I’m passionate about supporting other women in sports broadcasting,” Georgina says. “That’s something Sky is really aligned with.”
Georgina started her role with Sky in February 2020 after applying for the job whilst working at Arsenal one year before. When she was working on football content with Budweiser, she received a phone call from Sky.
“I squealed with excitement over the phone,” she says. “Just to hear I’d been considered for this job as it came up again was amazing.
“It really goes to show that they do keep your CV on file.”
Her role as an Assistant Producer is very diverse – no day is the same – and what tasks she completes differ depending on whether it’s race weekend, off-season, or if she’s at a race or back at Sky.
At a race her main role is to produce content on-site and she works closely with the video editor to compile footage. The footage Georgina edits can also vary; it could be a sit-down interview with a driver and a presenter, whilst back at Sky other assistant producers might be working on other features for a race weekend, like the qualifying or race opener.
“At a race, I help our presenters come up with questions [for interviews and broadcasts] and anything fun we might want to do with both our presenters and the drivers,” Georgina says. “I’m able to listen to interviews and the press conference, and key things that are said by drivers or team principals that can be used in the live show.
“My favourite thing is creating openers; I love thinking of a fun idea that can show a storyline in a unique way.”
The Director Assistant is the one speaking to the Sky presenters in their ears, but sometimes, if Georgina is in the remote gallery and a presenter is struggling with something – for example, finding someone on the grid for a quick pre-race chat – she can key into that presenter’s ear and help out.
During the off-season, Georgina’s work is very much focused on producing content for the upcoming season. Recently, she’s worked with the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team at their filming day with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, as well as with McLaren Racing’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo in Barcelona.
With lots of things going on behind the scenes, Georgina and her colleagues at Sky are often preparing content for upcoming races. They work on script-writing, creating and collecting ideas for race shows and looking at popular F1-related discussions on social media.
A producer’s role differs from that of an editor too. As a producer, Georgina oversees a piece of content being made from end to end. She works with a brief and follows time codes, decides where the links to camera should be, and decides which music is right for particular pieces.
“You’re quite often sat down and overseeing the edit coming to life,” she says. “You’re making sure everything is right with what you want to come to life onscreen.”
The COVID pandemic meant that Georgina wasn’t able to travel to as many races as she would have liked last year, but for 2022 two assistant producers can travel to races. That means Georgina will probably attend six races in person.
“I’m going to Miami!” she says. “I’m really looking forward to getting back out to the races.”
Working in a team is an important part of Georgina’s job, but she loves getting the feedback from colleagues and fans alike about a great idea she’s helped produce and bring to life.
“That’s what I work for,” Georgina says. “When you see your efforts being rewarded and a piece being acknowledged, people having fun and enjoying your content, that’s something I really enjoy.
“I live and breathe this sport.”
As a woman in the TV broadcasting sector of this industry, Georgina also recognises the importance of supporting others aspiring to work in this area, or in other areas of motorsport.
“For the younger generation, if you see more women in motorsport and see a more diverse career path, it will help to create a more inclusive future,” she says. “We really need to support each other.
“Having more women want to make these moves into these careers is really important. It’s really important to me.”
All images are thanks to Georgina and Sky Sports.