Online publisher GiveMeSport has hired journalist Benny Bonsu as its first head of women's sport, tasked with building a dedicated women's editorial brand to meet growing demand from fans.
An award-winning broadcaster, Bonsu has previously worked for the NBA, BBC’s World Service and Matchroom Sport. She's also produced multiple TV shows across Africa, and written for True Africa magazine profiling African athletes in the Premier League, NBA and NFL.
She will now head up GiveMeSport Women, leading its editorial efforts in a space which the title has identified as an area of growing interest for readers and advertisers.
The big hire comes as brands are increasingly looking to align themselves with women's sports. So far, with the Fifa Women's World Cup scheduled for summer, football has been the main benefactor of a renewed interest from advertisers.
Earlier this week, Coca-Cola announced it was to sponsor Channel 4's new show Women’s Football World. Last month, Barclay’s inked a multi-million pound three-year deal of the Women’s Super League and even more recently Boots revealed plans to sponsors all of the national teams in the UK and Ireland. In 2018, Mars renewed its own FA deal and extended the contract to the England women's and disability teams.
With readers demanding greater exposure and coverage of sportswomen and female athletes, however, Bonsu's remit for GiveMeSport Women will cover more than just football. She will lead on development and creation of women’s sports coverage across the board as the publisher deepens its commitment to reporting in the field.
GiveMeSport Women will go live in mid-April to cover the SSE Women’s FA Cup. It will also shine a spotlight on the Netball World Cup in July among other events via editorial, original video, social content, podcasts and episodic series.
The content will be fully integrated into the main site, alongside new, standalone social channels.
Despite the surging number of players, audiences, brand investment and wider interest, women’s sports coverage remains deeply underserved across the media.
According to the publisher's own numbers, 40% of all athletes are women, yet only 7% of the UK media’s sports coverage is dedicated to them.
"We want GiveMeSport Women to become the home of women’s sports coverage globally," Bonsu explained. "This will be a platform where we champion female athletes and inspire women and girls who want to be like their heroes through content that is original, honest and unapologetically bold."
She will also work alongside the group's head of editorial, Patrick Surlis, to grow its academy initiative – which works with journalism students at universities including Brighton University and Southampton Solent University – and provide opportunities for aspiring female sports journalists. Her efforts here will be focused on broadening the academy’s scope to provide more points of entry for both female graduates and BAME students.
GiveMeSport claims to reach 30 million fans a month across its various channels, including Facebook.
Rick Waterlow, managing director for the title said: "We’re delighted to bring such a prodigious and ambitious talent as Benny into the team. Producing and surfacing brilliant stories across the breadth of global sports is what we strive to do on a daily basis.
"Under Benny’s stewardship, GiveMeSport will be deepening its long-term commitment to offering the best coverage across all sports regardless of gender, for fans everywhere."