Sara Orlesky and Jets Content team creating connections through exclusive access and unique perspectives
By Payton Robinson | February 5, 2024
In the ever-evolving world of sports journalism, one name stands out as a beacon of trust and integrity – Sara Orlesky.
“I grew up watching sports with my dad, and as far back as I can remember, I always knew I wanted to be a sports broadcaster,” shared Orlesky who, as Senior Host and Producer, has been one of the faces and voices of the Winnipeg Jets for the last two seasons. “When I graduated from Simon Fraser (Communications major), I didn’t go to a technical broadcasting college and didn’t really have experience on air, so I was just learning on the fly, teaching myself as I went by, watching people on air, timing out their stand-ups and then going to practice them in the mirror.”
Early in her career, Orlesky started as a weekend sports producer in Vancouver, eventually becoming the Vancouver Bureau Reporter for The Score. Her exceptional work ethic took her to Toronto where she spent 14 years covering the CFL, national and international sporting events, and the beats of the Winnipeg Jets and Toronto’s professional sports teams for TSN.
Thorough coverage, candid conversations and relatability, became her signature and it wasn’t long before she became a beloved Canadian sports news personality.
As her career continued, Orlesky realized that she lived for the energy fans created in the crowd during games.
“Sometimes, when the crowd is so loud, the challenge is not losing yourself in it all. The feeling that fans create, whether it’s on the field or in the stands there’s an energy that you can’t find anywhere else, it’s something that keeps you going,” she said noting this energy is especially felt at Canada Life Centre from passionate Jets fans.
In 2022, Orlesky’s career shifted to exclusively covering the Winnipeg Jets where she now channels that fan energy into creating and presenting news and exclusive features that will further grow their connection to the team.
“When this opportunity came around, I could not pass it up – it allowed me to continue to work in the hockey and sports media world but also gave me an opportunity to try new things and continue to develop new skills.”
Over the past few seasons, Orlesky has led the creation of projects like “Runway” – a unique behind-the-scenes series bringing fans closer to the players through glimpses of life on the road, unique perspectives of team milestones and the raw emotions of both success and challenges.
“Content is forever changing and evolving, especially in sports, and we wanted to develop something where fans could really get to know the Jets players to further foster that fan/player relationship. The same way, we came out with ‘Home Ice’ this season, profiling players away from the rink, talking about things that aren’t really related to hockey. You get a chance to really know who you are cheering for.”
This season, Orlesky extended her talents to research, produce and narrate a four-part podcast series titled “Homecoming: The Return of the Winnipeg Jets”
Behind every successful project, there is a collaborative team effort involving shooters, editors, writers and creative minds.
“I may have an idea in my head of where a story is going, but if something organic or great happens and I am not there to see it, I rely on our Content team to get it and tell me and sometimes it changes the direction of what I thought we were going to do. So, working on any Jets content project is truly a collaboration.”
Orlesky also recognizes their incredible team access is only made possible with the cooperation and understanding of the coaching staff, along with trust and respect built over several seasons.
“I give Rick Bowness and the entire coaching staff a lot of credit — and the players for buying into this approach. There is a great feeling around this team this season and it has been a great group to cover and work with.”
This access means the team is able to provide more exclusive content as part of their everyday reporting through pre and post-game coverage and breaking news.
In her second season with the Jets, Orlesky’s focus remains on telling compelling stories and collaborating with the entire Jets Content team to innovate and evolve the features, exclusives and everyday team news offered to Winnipeg fans.
“We are just scratching the surface of what we can do for our fans and I’m happy to be a small piece of the puzzle.”
In an industry where big markets often dominate, Orlesky embraces the underdog spirit of Winnipeg, thriving on the opportunity to break through the glass ceiling, both professionally, and in what she and the Jets Content team can offer fans.‹ Main News