In December, ESPN launched a site geared towards female sports and solely has female reports: ESPNW. There are mixed reviews coming in from all sides on this site and we wanted to share some of ours plus ask you to share yours!
What ESPNW commits to providing and who they are about:
"We are excited to bring together some of the best and brightest writers in the business, all of whom are true sports fans at heart. Through espnW, we'll bring you commentary and analysis on the sports stories that matter to you. We'll also shine a brighter spotlight on the accomplishments of women athletes — elite and everyday.
For all of you who love sports we hope you find this product (and our products still to come) surprising, informative and inspiring. We want to talk with women who are both active and strong athletes and passionate and engaged sports fans. You'll find meaningful coverage of the games, teams and players you care about most right here." - Meet the Team
Some arguments coming in off the net:
- Why do females need a separate site from ESPN?
- Why are only female reporters contributing on the site?
- Why do they have to feature only accomplishments of women athletes? (and horses)
- This makes women look even more pathetic in the sports fan arena.
Some positive statements coming in off the net:
- It's about time!
- Why did it take so long?
- This is amazing insight into female athletes from some of the best female reporters.
Now, my personal opinion is currently mixed. Being so close to the female fan sports world as the founder and contributor to LadyBallers, I feel extremely excited that ESPN is recognizing that women are a huge demographic for sports. However, I think they are a little miscontrued on what females are looking for exactly. Just because I am a female sports fan doesn't necessarily mean that I love females sports or look only to females reporters. Yes, I love when female sports are in the spotlght for good reason (ie. UCONN) or if a female rises above the "norm" and goes after a position predominantly held by men because of historic flow (ie. I want to be an Owner). Because I am a female sports fan, it simply means I would like to respect of general reporting, not geared towards men by men, but a nice mix acknowledging that women are as interested and knowledgeable about sports. Also, I would love to hear about women working in any sports arena and learn about their journey as it's still something not frequently heard of.
So, I believe if ESPNW sticks to their mission as reported by Laura Gentile, VP of espnW and ESPN RISE digital and publishing:
espnW.com represents our commitment to serving female fans and athletes on a dedicated platform. After more than two years of research and preparation, we are excited to create a specific community for women to talk sports and be inspired both as a fan and as a participant.
Then maybe this site will stick as strictly an ADDITION to ESPN, not an alternative. However, if it sticks with only female reporters and highlighting female sports, then I don't see a huge constant following.
Some other insightful pieces on ESPNW:
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*images taken from ESPNW