Telegraph Women's Sport
Media associated with this campaign
Overview of this campaign
Before the launch of TWS, women’s sport made up just 2% of newspaper sports coverage, with less than 2% of sports bylines by women. It was archaic, unjust, and grossly out of step with progress in other sectors.
With attitudes to women’s sport changing rapidly – Jessica Ennis-Hill the face of London 2012, the phenomenal rise of women’s football, This Girl Can –sports media was lagging behind in failing to give women a voice. The repercussions were damning. At the elite end, sportswomen were (and still are) underpaid and under recognised, while at grassroots just 8% of teenage girls are doing enough physical activity. Why the reluctance for sports media to change? Because of the perception that women’s sport didn’t have a big enough audience to warrant investment or coverage.
We wanted to totally disprove this idea and transform the profile and visibility of women’s sport through a series of manifesto pledges:
- Massively increase editorial coverage.
- Introduce standalone channels, dedicated products and the integration of content into existing sections.
- Campaign on key issues to inspire women and girl’s participation in sport, holding to account those responsible for its development and organisation.
- Grow audiences by investing in specialist women's sport journalists, encouraging more female bylines.
- Develop the TWS brand to maximise its appeal with readers and sponsors, and offer multiple opportunities for interaction and collaboration.
- Change the narrative around women’s sport, from bold and ambitious imagery and design, to taboo-busting subject areas such as menstruation, vaginal health and sexual harassment in sport.
By being the first publisher to invest in this way, and through a coordinated launch across digital and social media, we have become synonymous with industry-leading coverage. TWS has introduced The Telegraph to a new audience, with whom we may not be natural bed-fellows, and given a host of fresh content delivered across several platforms to existing readers.
Results for this campaign
We delivered on all our objectives, achieving:
- A growing audience, over 3.5million page views for our World Cup coverage, and impressive numbers on Snapchat including 1.1m views for a Simone Biles interview
- Massive increase in profile: 45% of Sport’s top online stories dedicated to women’s sport last summer
- Government backing of our Girls Inspired campaign to tackle inactivity and close the gender gap in schools. Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “Your campaign has helped to inspire us,” and cited its powerful influence on a new School Sports and Activity Action plan with initiatives costing £5.5million. Endorsement from FIFA, the British Olympic Association and Sport England
- Commercial partnerships with 13 major sponsors
In addition, our journalism has:
- Forced The Football Association to introduce medical insurance for its top women players after we highlighted its absence and ACL injury crisis.
- Prompted research into the concussion epidemic affecting sportswomen, following our investigation revealing second-rate medical care.
- Highlighted the barriers faced by elite sportswomen – including bullying and sexual harassment - through our groundbreaking survey.
- Provided a platform for women’s voices, from world champion sprinter Dina Asher-Smith to Paralympian Sarah Storey; our paid work experience scheme is developing a new generation of diverse young voices.
- Worked with influencers - including Chessie King, Alice Liveing and Liv Cooke - using Instagram stories and social takeovers to augment our own reach through their huge followings. TWS channels now at Twitter (10.4k) and Instagram (8.4k).
- Sent unprecedented numbers to cover women’s sports events, including six of our top writers to the World Cup (and Goals 4 Girls to record their experiences in a unique film).
- Highlighted taboos from menstruation to the menopause and vaginal health, subjects never before tackled in sports journalism - ensuring TWS is reaching and engaging a significant new readership.