ESPN launches web site for women
Do women need their own place on the web to follow sports? ESPN is going to find out as yesterday it launched espnW.com,
a web site dedicated to offering sports content “geared toward female
athletes and sports fans aged 18+.” The site, supported by a Twitter and Facebook presence, will incorporate posts by top female sports columnists and bloggers, pro athletes, and expert contributors.
will initially take the form of a blog, ahead of a more robust web site
with mobile applications and personalized content that is set to launch
in Spring 2011. Coverage will be split between men’s and women’s
sports, but there will also be more personalized features for female
readers, such as advice on running and training.
include coverage of the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden,
commentary on the continuing court battles between Jamie and Frank
McCourt, and the induction of Sylvester Stallone into the International
Boxing Hall of Fame.
However, not everyone is sold on the
idea of women having their own dedicated sports site. Some fear that it
will reinforce the stereotype that women don’t understand sports or
regular sports coverage, and resent the notion that ESPN is trying to
serve up a “girlier” version.
Others see it as a natural extension of the ESPN brand. “I'm kind of in the ‘I don't see the harm’ camp,” Deadspin contributor Katie Baker told Business Insider.
“ESPN has so many tentacles that it doesn't seem like a big deal that
they'd have a dedicated women's site. And I actually do think that they
could leverage social networking in ways that don't exist on ESPN proper
if they go about it the right way.”
If espnW succeeds in
building a significant female following, it could be a new and
potentially lucrative demographic. ESPN's viewership is currently 76%
male and 24% female , so there is plenty of room for growth. Perhaps
recognizing the potential, Nike and Gatorade have signed on as launch
Do women need a dedicated web site for sports coverage? Share your thoughts with The Online Mom!