In an effort to drive its mission of establishing espnW as the premier brand for coverage of women’s sports, ESPN.com recently rebranded its women’s basketball page as part of espnW. The editors and writers from the ESPN.com women’s basketball team and espnW have joined together to deliver strong, cohesive coverage leading into the 2012 NCAA tournament.
The new page features the same user interface as most other index pages on ESPN.com, and espnW will soon be added to the primary navigation on the ESPN.com home page – complete with its own mega drop-down menu.
espnW deputy editor Joy Russo talks to Front Row about this next stage to better serve women’s sports fans online under one cohesive unit:
FR: How will this move benefit fans of women’s sports?
JR: We already know the NCAA Women’s Tournament is a huge event for our audience, both on television and online, and our Event, Studio Production and Digital teams have set the bar. So, I think the benefit is we’re giving fans, male and female, more of a good thing. We’re doubling our coverage so every region will be covered from the start, and we’re striving to give fans more of a behind-the-scenes look at the athletes they enjoy watching on the court. I think espnW’s blog with Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins from last year’s tournament is a perfect example of that. But, bottom line, espnW wants to elevate athletes beyond the big stage of the tournament. They deserve the same coverage and platform as their male counterparts, and the NCAA tournament is just the beginning.
FR: What can we expect in terms of coverage as we head towards the 2012 NCAA Tournament?
JR: In addition to Charlie Creme’s Bracketology and continued solid storytelling from Mechelle Voepel and Graham Hays – who we’re thrilled to have joined the espnW team, by the way – we will have espnW writers Kate Fagan and Michelle Smith on the ground covering all four regions from the start of the tournament. We’ll also have espnW original segments, which will include analysis from Rebecca Lobo and Kara Lawson, among others. Also, off the popularity of the Diggins first-person blog, we’ll be expanding to five players for this upcoming tourney. And as always, there will be live chats, Facebook and Twitter elements that will also provide fans with the opportunity to be part of the action.
FR: In your own personal opinion, which team has the best chance to go all the way to take home the championship title?
JR: I am going to have to go along with our women’s college basketball editor Melanie Jackson on this and pick a Notre Dame-Baylor final. I know the UConn fans on campus may not like that, but I don’t know who will stop Brittney Griner.