Liverpool Echo announces major expansion to Liverpool FC coverage, including site for US fans
REACH PLC today announced a major expansion of its Liverpool Football Club coverage following the Reds’ European Champions League triumph.
The primary focus of the expansion will be the launch of Liverpool.com, a new LFC site dedicated to the club’s US fanbase, featuring analysis and essays from established writers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Working with leading regional brand the Liverpool ECHO, 10 new journalists will join the company to offer diverse coverage of LFC across both Liverpool.com and offerings made for British audience — the Liverpool Echo, the Blood Red Podcast, and LFC Stories.
Blood Red, originally launched in 2015 as a weekly offering and now publishing nearly daily off the back of its initial success, will be expanded to provide more audio, video and social content across various platforms. The podcast currently reaches hundreds of thousands of listeners each week and also does live, ticketed events.
In addition, the new team will launch LFC Stories, a dedicated premium platform for high quality longform pieces on Liverpool FC, from some of the world’s best sports writers.
ECHO Editor-in-Chief Ali Machray said: ‘’This is a hugely exciting expansion. It is great to be taking on more journalists. LFC is a growing global brand and we need to grow with it. No one covers LFC like the Echo which puts us in a powerful position.”
The LFC expansion project, which will go live on July 1st, follows Reach’s Football Project announced in January, which saw the company’s Regional Sport team restructured under Editor (Football) Jon Birchall. The new LFC team will be led by Kristian Walsh, Content Editor (Group Sport) and formerly Sports Audience Editor at the ECHO.
Birchall said: “The aim at the Liverpool ECHO, as with all of our regional brands, is to provide the strongest, most comprehensive coverage of our football clubs available anywhere.
“This expansion across new platforms and new territories is the natural next step in how we give Liverpool supporters the best possible experience from the heart of the city and beyond.”
Walsh said: “The events of the past week have reinforced the belief that Liverpool Football Club is among the biggest and best in the world.
“Having been to the United States in 2014 to cover one of the Reds’ previous pre-season tours, I have always been fascinated and taken aback by the passion and knowledge of supporters there. Though this is a club with a Scouse heartbeat, it is truly unique to see such fervent support by those in the US.
“The sport of soccer is growing evermore there and Liverpool and its culture are at the forefront of that.
“I am hugely excited to be leading this project and not only bringing our US fans closer to Liverpool, but taking Liverpool closer to those same supporters. Their dedication and belief is among the most impressive in the world — they deserve one of the most impressive websites to reflect that. That is our challenge, and one we will relish.”
Last week also saw Reach take advantage of the sports news agenda by printing three special editions of the Liverpool ECHO to provide to LFC fans who had travelled down to Madrid for the match, using the Mirror’s usual Spanish printer.
The Blood Red podcast has also held two live recordings in the past week, one in Dublin prior to the Champions League Final, and one back in Liverpool this week.