espnW

After Year One as EIC, Overholt takes time to celebrate her espnW team

Alison Overholt. (Rich Arden/ESPN Images)
Alison Overholt. (Rich Arden/ESPN Images)

Recently, Alison Overholt celebrated her first anniversary as editor-in-chief of espnW – though it is not her first stint at ESPN, having worked with the Company from 2005 through 2010. The last 12 months were marked by great strides for the five-year-old espnW.com, and Overholt reflected on her debut year at the helm — one in which Mo’ne Davis became a household name, domestic violence entered the sports conversation and espnW.com broke records.

What were you hoping to accomplish in your first year as espnW’s Editor-in-Chief?
This: Overholt_ITK_Anniversary

Overholt looks ahead to her second year:We’ve made some noise this year, which is exactly what we needed to do. I think we’ve established why it’s not just valuable to have women in the sports conversation, it’s crucial. Now it’s time for us to build on that and refine the espnW “voice.” We need to establish that the W perspective is not only about covering women’s sports or responding to moments of social turmoil in sports with a woman’s voice, it’s about speaking to women authentically, every single day, with stories that bring to life what it means to be a sports-minded woman, an athletic woman and a female fan.

Which espnW.com accomplishment do you most want people to be aware of?
We are growing, by leaps and bounds! Our numbers have been on a phenomenal trajectory, with traffic nearly doubling during certain stretches and an all-time record of 10+ million unique visitors in March. We added projects, from launching a new radio show with our audio partners, espnW Presents: Spain and Prim on ESPN Radio and collaborating with the features unit on The Geno Auriemma Project. They’re all signs that the audience we believed was out there is, in fact, there, and they’re starting to find us.

What about the espnW team are you most proud of in the last year?
Growth on that front, too – it’s no exaggeration to say that every single person on the W team has been in a “stretch role” this year. I have asked everyone to rethink what we — and they — are capable of accomplishing. It has been incredible to see this team rising to the challenge and finding new ways to shine.

We are a lean team and sometimes it feels like we are trying to boil the ocean with the goals we’ve set, but I’m so proud of every single person in this group and how hard they are working to grow W and themselves.
– espnw editor-in-chief Alison Overholt

We’ve seen our talent stretch, like Kate Fagan building on her feature writing strengths to become a really sharp and commanding columnist and a strong on-air voice on shows from Around The Horn to First Take to The Sports Reporters. Jane McManus built on her reporting chops to become one of our strongest commentators and now, in her first major feature writing foray, had our biggest and truly viral hit — her story on Christy Mack reached more than two million readers in less than 48 hours! W talent — from Kate to Jane to Sarah Spain to Missy Isaacson to Mechelle Voepel — has been on air more than 100 times since last July. It’s unprecedented for this little group.

03 - espnW Record Month March 2015

We are a lean team and sometimes it feels like we are trying to boil the ocean with the goals we’ve set, but I’m so proud of every single person in this group and how hard they are working to grow W and themselves.

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