When first got an email from She Plays, I was a bit reluctant to open the link – pretty sure it was going to be another wasted and misplaced promo bid. But when the top lines on the site reference the massive gap between media coverage of women’s sports and the numbers of women playing, I knew it was safe to scroll on.
This app is how Ashly Hart and the She Plays team are tackling that gap. Sure, they are hoping to make some money along the way but it’s an intriguing idea to link passion with some funding going back into the leagues.
She Plays is partnered with the United States Women’s Football League (American football we would say) which is a solid start. They will offer fans from these sports and others the chance to set up a private league with up to 20% of each player’s fee going to that particular sports-league.
You can’t play yet, but they are taking registration for the community. I like that they’ve taken note of the possible ignorance among women of how a league would work; a normal situation as they may not have been interested before. The site comes with explainer videos, and yes I know there’s a good chance this will be shouted down as “mansplaining” and “patronising” but if it works …
Interestingly they have already launched the free podcast service, with lots of interviews including this podcast with marathoner Kathrine Switzer as well as a whole host of team sports interviews.
That notion of offering things from free is maybe coming from their funding source: Kickstarter. That tells you there is a market out there for betting, even in a small way, on women’s sports.
And while googling around on She Plays I found an Australian site ShePlays au. They are doing a similar thing inspired by the Mathildas – the Australian soccer team – to run an app around the women’s soccer league there.
|Sample page from the Australia She Plays league on their FB|