In November 2022, Google announced that it would be partnering with The Athletic– a subscription-based digital sports news outlet– to launch a multiplatform project aimed at supporting the growth of women’s sports journalism.
Women currently account for 40 percent of all professional sports participants. Despite this fact, female pro athletes receive only 4 percent of regular sports media coverage aside from major sporting events such as the Olympics, according to the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
So, the partnership’s main goal was to expand coverage of professional women’s basketball and soccer while devoting more staffing and resources to this endeavor.
But, according to Kate Johnson, Google’s Director of Global Sports, Media, and Entertainment Marketing, this partnership was just the tip of the iceberg.
Google is a massively lucrative global brand. It is also arguably one of the most well-known companies in the world. So, if the company sets its sights on sports journalism equity, Johnson believes other market leaders will follow.
“If we are doing this, if we are saying, ‘This is worth leaning into for all of these reasons,’ you’d like to expect that other companies would hop on board,” she told Forbes.
Johnson also revealed how she felt this push to become a changemaker in women’s sports coverage after taking a long, hard look at her own company’s practices.
“Listen, this started with our own audit,” she admitted.
“Google is very experienced at spending in sport. So when we did our own audit of how we are spending that money, and then we look at what our role is from a macro perspective, upping our investment level was a huge part of that.”