Telegraph Women's Sport
2020 Finalist

Telegraph Women's Sport

Telegraph Media Group

London, United Kingdom

Category Readership and Engagement

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.


To contact a company representative about this campaign, click here for the INMA Member Directory

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