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The Athletic to Double Women’s Sports Coverage

The Athletic plans to double its coverage of professional women’s sports through a multiyear partnership with Google, its chief commercial officer Seb Tomich told Axios.

Why it matters: Because the readership of The Athletic’s parent company — the New York Times — is fairly split between men and women, the Times’ ability to bring over more women readers to The Athletic “is a huge advantage,” Tomich said.

  • Sports media has traditionally skewed toward men, “but this is something we want to change,” he added.

Details: Beginning this week, The Athletic will start to post job openings for a new slate of journalism roles to cover women’s sports specifically, with an initial focus on the WNBA.

  • It will also expand its existing coverage of women’s soccer. In January, the newsroom will debut an eight-month project following soccer stars ahead of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
  • WNBA coverage will include games, but it will also dive into the business side of basketball, including player endorsements, TV deals and cultural moments, like how the detainment of Brittney Griner has impacted the game.

Between the lines: In addition to written articles, the Google deal will provide support for the expansion of women’s sports-focused podcasts and newsletters.

  • With the partnership, Google will support paid media to drive audiences to The Athletic’s women’s sports coverage.
  • Most of that paid promotion will occur on The Athletic and the New York Times sites, but some may occur off-platform, Tomich said.
  • In the future, the company is also eyeing expansion into other women’s sports verticals, like golf, tennis and hockey.


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