These are heady times for The GIST, a women-owned, women-operated sports media startup.

The investment and a newsletter list that now tops 400,000 subscribers means a series of newsletters are on the way, along with podcasts and other expansion efforts.

Yet GIST turned to veteran women’s sportswriter Pardeep Cattry with a very specific assignment for the second newsletter, following the success of the core offering: sports business.

“One of the biggest sports stories of recent years is the continued rise of women’s sports,” Cattry said. “The increase in investments received by players and organizations in the women’s sports ecosystem is indicative of this increase. These stories are sometimes discovered, not because they are not newsworthy, but because the sports media landscape remains inequitable. I’m excited to join The GIST as we do our part to close the coverage gap and help tell a more inclusive and accurate sporting story.

I spoke to The GIST co-founder Ellen Hyslop to dig deeper into this effort and what it means for the company as a whole.

1. Tell me why Sports Business was your second newsletter? Why this precisely?

Less than 4% of sports coverage is about female athletes, and sports business coverage has also not sufficiently covered the business side of women’s sports.

One of the biggest stories in the sports industry in recent years has been the rise of women’s sports. Viewership, sponsorship deals and investment in women’s sports have all increased. And yet, the coverage hasn’t been there, not because those stories aren’t newsworthy, but because the sports media landscape is still inequitable.

Three years ago, we saw an incredible business opportunity resulting from the lack of female-centric sports news content, which led us to found The GIST. And now we see another opportunity to also focus on women in sports business, including providing context, curation, and macro and micro analysis on breaking news.

Women’s sports present a unique growth opportunity in the sports landscape, creating an ever-increasing need for news coverage. GIST’s new sports affairs newsletter is now one of the few centralized places to receive updates on the business side of women’s sports (while being entertained along the way).

From our perspective of working in this industry over the past few years, it’s clear that the space has warmed up due to increased interest from our audience, investors and brand partners.

From an internal perspective, our data, insights, and conversations with our audience have all highlighted this need for coverage of the women’s sports industry. We could tell our community was hungry for stories about the successes and impact of women in the sports industry as well as news on the progress of gender equity.

We also felt responsible from a brand mission perspective. Ultimately, we started The GIST with a mission to level the playing field in sports and that extends beyond sports stories and into sports as well. We are excited to bring our signature voice, perspective and curation to the female side of corporate sports.

2. What impressed you the most at Pardeep?

There was a lot! First, we were impressed with his work. Our team had previously followed her and her content at SB Nation and her articles for The Athletic, The IX and The Guardian. We loved the way she spoke and analyzed football. But more than that, we loved the intersectional component of her work and the way she didn’t shy away from talking about how sport and social issues intersect, which The GIST says is an essential part of the discussion. We thought it would allow her to bring an important perspective to the women’s sports industry.

A month into the new newsletter, we are already very pleased with how Pardeep has been able to transfer his journalistic skills and knowledge of our space to The GIST’s sports business vertical. Her ability to find the most important women’s sports business stories and her editorial talent were essential in bringing the newsletter to life and quickly earning The GIST a reputation as a credible, engaging and centralized place to receive updates on the business side of women. sports.

3. What do you think has been the most secret sports business story in women’s sports over the past year, and why?

This is a tough question because pretty much everything is covered! But if we had to pick one, we think people are sleeping on the state of women’s hockey right now.

From a business perspective, it’s been very fascinating to follow the space lately. There is a strained relationship between the PHF and the PWHA for various reasons (which we frequently discuss on our podcast, THE ESSENTIAL of it). There is an opportunity for the NHL to be a huge supporter and supporter of a sustainable women’s hockey league. However, they are reluctant to do so.

The PWHPA has all the best hockey players in the region, the gold medal game between the United States and Canada saw an incredible number of viewers at the Beijing Olympics, and sponsors are flocking to the league. The PHF, however, is hoarding partners and investors, pumping millions of dollars into its league.

A merger of the leagues seems difficult, although there seems to be room for both. This is an extremely fascinating situation from a business perspective, and a solution will have a tremendous impact on women’s hockey for years to come. It’s surprising to us that more outlets don’t talk about it.

4. Does it seem like there is a massive understanding going on that women’s sport is big business, and if so, what brings you to that conclusion?

Absoutely. There’s an undeniable momentum behind women’s sports right now, so it’s a really exciting time to be a part of it.

We see a trend of increasing investment and interest in female athletes, their teams and leagues. Angel City FC, founded in 2020 by renowned founders and investors including Natalie Portman, Abby Wambach, America Ferrera and many more, recently announced that the club has already recorded $35 million in sponsorship revenue, although ‘he is not yet (at the time) playing a game. Chairman Julie Uhrman also said the club had sold over 14,000 season tickets before its first season. For context, MLS team LA FC sold just over 18,000 season tickets for its 2020 season.

Viewership for women’s sports television has also reached unprecedented heights across all sports. The gold medal hockey game between the United States and Canada at the Beijing Olympics averaged 3.54 million viewers on NBC, more than any NHL game televised in the United States. United this season, making it the second most-watched hockey game in the United States since the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. In the NCAA world, March Madness women’s ratings explode with viewership up 15 % in the first two rounds according to ESPN. Additionally, the women’s tournament averaged almost 20% more minutes of brand exposure during games than the men’s tournament.

Female athletes also earn one-of-a-kind sponsorships. In the NIL-era First March Madness, UConn’s Paige Bueckers and Louiville’s Hailey Van Lith have the highest social media earning potential among Sweet 16 players and female players represent 11 of the top 20 athletes . In the world of tennis, 19-year-old Emma Raducanu has added Porsche to her growing list of endorsements alongside Vodafone, Dior and Tiffany & Co.

These examples are all from the past few months and there are so many more that point to the rapid rise of women’s sport. We’re already having so much fun covering it all in our Sports Business newsletter!

5. Last February, I asked you what The Gist wants to be in five yearsand you told me this: “Our vision is for The GIST to be the go-to source of sports for underserved sports fans, or what we like to call a ‘new kind’ of sports fan or sports fan” evolving”.

A year later, how close are you to that goal, and has the goal changed?

We are really pleased with the progress we are making towards this goal and the growth we are seeing in our audience, team and partnerships. We are also proud to be part of a growing and changing space.

Our true hope is that others will see the business of women’s sports not only as necessary for the prosperity of our society, but also as an incredibly lucrative business opportunity. This shift in perspective is what will allow us to level the playing field in sport.

While our vision is to be that go-to place for evolving and underserved sports fans, it’s also very much about our impact on the industry as a whole.