ESPN has today launched a new platform that celebrates women and sport within its Aussie website.
Having successfully launched an Aussie-focused edition of its flagship site in March this year, the sports media company has now brought its espnW brand to our shores.
Founded in the US in July 2010, espnW now lives across digital, TV, films, events, educational platforms and social media. The Australian iteration of espnW will live within ESPN.com alongside all mainstream sports coverage to inspire and celebrate women in sports and lifestyle.
After consulting with a range of leading sports governing bodies across Australia to understand ongoing plans for their women’s leagues and media output, the ESPN Australia team, in partnership with espnW, has devised a mix of coverage that will draw on a range of news and features from domestic and global sources.
In addition to the new espnW section, ESPN’s Australian TV networks available on FOXTEL and Fetch TV will continue its coverage of women’s sport, including the WNBA and a wide range of NCAA college sports, while also looking to highlight the involvement of Australian women competing in annual events such as the Summer and Winter X Games and the CrossFit World Championships.
The new platform will also shine the spotlight on female athletes and transcendent teams that have defined women’s sports for a generation through Nine for IX, a series of captivating films created and told through the lens of female filmmakers.
Further to providing a range of coverage across digital and TV, espnW’s Australian edition will also draw on wider initiatives already established in the US, such as the annual espnW Women + Sports Summit and the espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program.
ESPN Australia will mark its launch of espnW with a sponsorship of the Seven Network’s primetime national broadcast of a women’s AFL exhibition match between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs on 3 September, and plans are also in works for extensive coverage around the US Open and Australian Open tennis, where ESPN holds international rights.
“Australia was the right next destination for us as we continue to grow the espnW brand in the US and around the world,” Laura Gentile, senior vice-president at espnW and women’s initiatives at ESPN, said.
“The country has a rich sports tradition, and women and women’s sports have long been in the national consciousness. We look forward to telling the amazing stories of Australian female athletes and highlight inspirational women around the globe for this key local audience.”
ESPN’s digital network in Australia already has more than 35 per cent female audience share on its market-leading ESPNfootytips site, which has more than 800,000 registered active users.