Women’s Super League team set up at regional publisher Reach
Publisher Reach has announced a commitment to bolster its coverage of the Women’s Super League season (WSL), which starts again next month.
Reach’s digital sports vertical, with national and regional titles including the Mirror, Manchester Evening News and Football London, is creating a seven-person team dedicated to Women’s Super League coverage.
The newly formed team, designed to be spread across the country, will ensure every WSL match is covered by a member of the team. Each of the 12 WSL clubs will also be assigned to a member of the reporting team to focus on club coverage between matches and throughout the week.
Reach has been steadily building its women’s football coverage, and the success of England at Euro 2022 provides the opportunity to massively increase coverage of domestic games this season, the company said.
Coverage will appear on sites local to the clubs, including BirminghamLive, Liverpool Echo, Manchester Evening News, BerkshireLive, SussexLive and FootballLondon, as well as on Mirror.co.uk, which has one of the largest online football audiences in the UK.
Roles being created include a sports editor, chief reporter, club reporters and a social media reporter. Job adverts have begun to go live on the Reach Careers site.
Alice McKeegan, Head of Football at the Manchester Evening News, who is leading the project, said: “England’s success at the Euros this summer has displayed to the country just how good the women’s game is, and we want to ensure our coverage of the sport is first-rate too. It’s really exciting to be able to recruit a team of dedicated journalists to expand our coverage and ensure we’re giving our audience what they want.”
Neil Hodgkinson, Audience and Content Director for sport at Reach, said: “Our strategy is to become a broader church for sports coverage. There are a lot of sports out there other than men’s football and we have seen great results from having extra people writing about F1, tennis, boxing and UFC.
“Coverage of the success of female athletes in tennis, boxing and cricket has also proven popular with readers. Some of our titles have seen particular success here, for example WalesOnline’s regular and popular coverage of women’s rugby.“Increasing our coverage of the WSL and women’s grassroots game is a natural progression. The key thing is to stick with the coverage and show you are as committed as the fans.”
Latest data from Ipsos Iris shows that Reach’s sports channels attracted more than 13m readers in June, the highest of any media brand online in the UK.
Ahead of the start of the Women’s Championship, on August 22, every regional title at Reach will be covering an opening game of the season to report on the impact the success of the Lionesses in the Euros is having on the new season. Many clubs have already reported a spike in interest in local matches. Brighton, Chelsea, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and West Ham have all reported sizeable increases in season-ticket sales. Liverpool said they had seen a 254% increase and City have seen sales double.