How I started working with BT Sport

I’ve just finished my first year studying Media and Journalism BA (Hons) at Northumbria University and I will be going into second year with a years worth of work experience with BT Sport.

What was my role with BT Sport?

I worked on the National League Highlights Show which was broadcast every Sunday at 10PM on BT Sport 1. Specifically for York City FC.

My job would be to film the full game from the dodgy gantry on top of the popular stand at Bootham Crescent then climb down the shaky ladder and sprint across to the main stand where alongside my colleague we would film interviews with Gary Mills and the oppositions manager.

If you want a good laugh then you can watch my first ever interview with Gary Mills. It’s quite embarrassing for me and I can tell you that 19 year old Dan has learned from his mistakes which is what it’s all about!

All the footage would then have to be edited down to under eight minutes and sent as a full package over a server to BT Sport under a deadline.

Additionally I edited a longer highlights package which would be sent to York City to use on MinstermenPlayerHD; their paid subscription video platform.

I study in Newcastle and live in York so the role was ideal for me as on home games I’d be able to spend the weekend with my family and friends. On top of this travel was paid for, so I’d not have to worry about the expensive train journeys… including a £150 return to London for my training course – trains are way overpriced!

York City were lucky enough to be broadcast as a live game on BT Sport when they played Forest Green in which I experienced the whole thing from the production trailer behind the ground and got to meet presenters Matt Smith and Kevin Davies.

18622629_10213360605998499_2703105833219314138_nFollowing this I got an all access pass at Wembley Stadium for the FA Trophy Final and helped out with BT Sport interviews on Wembley Way as well as looking after the presenters on the day.

Oh and I got a cheeky picture in the royal box before a scary man in a suit came up and kicked me out!


How can I apply?

The best thing to do is contact the nearest National League club near you. Below is a map of all the clubs in the National League next season.


My advice would be to go onto the clubs website and find an email for the media department. Better yet find out who the media officer is, find them on twitter and get in touch from there.

It’s best to get your foot in before they advertise on the website. York City for example started advertising for the role around this time.

If you’re successful you will most likely get an interview with the media officer for the role and then be sent down to BT Sport studios in the Olympic Park, Stratford for two days (all expenses paid) for a training course.

It’s also best to mention that this role is unpaid, but if you love football the perks of the job are amazing to say the least.

So what am I doing now?

Unfortunately York City were relegated from the National League at the end of last season and this meant that it was my time to move on considering BT Sport will not be covering the regional divisions.

But this experience has helped me drastically in the world of football media. People in the industry actually take me seriously now and that has lead me on to my new roles for the 2017/18 season.

For 2017/18 I will be the Programme Editor at Blyth Spartans FC as well as the Matchday Media Officer with Northumberland FA for the county team.

croft park
Croft Park – Home to Blyth Spartans FC.

I’m only going into my second year but I have all of these opportunities at my fingertips and I’m in a great position to showcase and develop my skills further. It’s made me realise the career path I want to take and now I’m more motivated than ever!

If you want any advice on getting into football media or just want a general chat then please contact me on twitter or email me. I’ll be happy to help out and possibly point you in the direction of a role which you’d be interested in.

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Published by Dan Simmonite

Aspiring sport media professional currently working with Northumberland FA. Also write for the grassroots section of the Newcastle Chronicle.

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