I was going about my normal business this morning (which includes checking my Twitter feed) when I saw this go by:
“Hmm…,” I said to myself after reading and then re-reading the tweet. (Sometimes I speak to myself in sound effects.) And then, because I am the inquisitive type and also possibly because I was hyped up on two cups of Nespresso, I decided to take a peek at the espnW website. ESPN’s tweet was an acknowledgment of International Women’s Day, so I was slightly curious about the site’s content.
I was not happy with what I saw.
First, I am not sure why ESPN thinks that women need to get their sports-related news from a woman-centric source. I thought espn.com was for me. And second, I wasn’t interested in any of the stories on espnW’s homepage. The ads for Secret Clinical Strength deodorant, which were featured at the very top of the page, (this is not how advertising is displayed on espn.com) probably didn’t help. Though, kudos I suppose for using a product that has the word “strength” in its title.
From the New York Times:
“In recent years, the N.F.L. surpassed the N.B.A. and Major League Baseball in the share of its regular-season viewers who are female, according to Nielsen. More women watched the Super Bowl — 43 million — than the Grammy Awards or the Academy Awards last year.“
Yet, when I clicked on espnW, there was only one mention of football. And that was a story about the woman who received an invitation to try out as a kicker at the recent NFL combine. From what I could tell, most of the stories on espnW are about female athletes. And that in itself isn’t a bad thing. I think women in sports should receive attention.
But stories about female athletes aren’t always the “stories that matter the most” to me. And that is what espnW promises to deliver. And to be honest, I find that statement a bit off-putting. I am a sports fan — who also happens to be a woman. Again, I ask: Why do the powers that be at ESPN think that I need a separate website as my source for sports?
And espnW’s cutesy blog titles ( “HoopGurlz,” “That’s What She Said”)? I can also do without those. ESPN, you don’t have to add a coating of pink to the sports coverage you direct at me. You just have to provide good content.
What do you think?