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Sportscaster Sage Steele embraces her 
Audi vehicles as her ‘new best friends.’
When we spoke, television anchor Sage Steele said she had just returned from what she called a healing family trip to Croatia after a transitional year for her family. Last year, her job at ESPN uprooted her family from Scottsdale, Arizona, to ESPN headquarters in Connecticut. As someone who proudly describes herself as a military brat, Steele is no stranger to cross-country and even transcontinental moves. Her father was an Army officer, and her formative years were spent in 19 homes. Though her home base was never permanent, her career aspirations were firm from the age of 12, when she announced to her family that she wanted to be an ESPN sportscaster at their dinner table in their Colorado Springs home.
With 23 years of broadcasting experience, Steele has achieved this goal. She started as a news producer and said she had to fight her way to do sports. As a beat reporter, she covered three NFL teams among other professional sports. Since, she has covered every NBA finals since 2012 and now interviews athletes as an anchor on the evening edition of SportsCenter.
Steele’s interest in cars began during her tomboy childhood.
Steele’s dream job and her upbringing collided in 2016, creating a standout moment of her career. Every year, SportsCenter visits a different military landmark to honor military veterans. In 2016, Steele reported from Arlington National Cemetery in a spot just over the hill from where her grandfather, a Buffalo Soldier in the 92nd Infantry Division during World War II, was buried.
During the live segment, Steele interviewed her veteran father, Gary, who ranked as the Army’s first African America to earn a varsity letter in the sport of football at West Point. When the bugle signal “Taps” was played, Sage couldn’t help but cry. “Sports are an escape for so many people who are serving our country all over the world,” she said. “That was special.”
On a personal level, being a parent in broadcasting presents special challenges, from moving school-age children across the country, to missing dances and soccer games. Steele’s children—now 16, 14 and 12—have never known life without Mom as a recognizable TV persona. Parenting while in the media spotlight is particularly challenging in the volatile era of social media. After posting her opinions on current events, Steele has experienced the public, online backlash and on full display to her family. She said she has since been using social media for news and sports, and tries to turn a negative into a positive.
“I’ve used it as a teaching moment for my kids to say, ‘Yep, Mom’s got a super cool job and we live a really blessed life, but there’s another side to it,” Steele said.
Though there are tough moments, Steele is audibly upbeat and optimistic about the example she and her husband’s life are setting for their children. As the only female on her evening SportsCenter team, she said she’s also been able to teach her two daughters and son that they can be anything, gender aside. Her husband, Jonathan, is a stay-at-home dad and was on day 3 of post-vacation laundry duty when Steele and I spoke. “We’re just one good team, one big team,” she said.
Steele’s new schedule on the nighttime segment gets her home in time to be a team player and help with homework. She said that sometimes it takes yoga music during the drive home, through the Bose® speakers in her Audi A8, to help her mentally transition to her children’s homework.
Steele’s love affair with German luxury automobiles began young, but her relationship with Audi began around the time her children retired from booster seats. She bought an Audi A6 and said the vehicles from Ingolstadt have been her best friends ever since.
The customized Audi A8 adds joy to Steele’s commutes to and from ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.
Her towering father and brother, as well as her growing children, provided the perfect justification to later upgrade to a roomier Audi A8. Now she gets stopped for more than being that woman on TV. “They stop me. They look,” Steele said. “And that tomboy in me is like, ‘Heck yeah, that’s my ride. Get out of the way.’ ’’
The Audi A8 with quattro® all-wheel drive has become the ideal partner for the mountain road on Steele’s commute, which she describes as a high point of every day. “You know what? I work crazy hours. There’s a lot of stress,” she said. “This is my escape: to get in my A8.”