Redefining Sports Media For The Female Fan: Q&A With Ashley Wellington-Fahey, Founder Of The Relish – Forbes
This Q&A with Ashley Wellington-Fahey originally appeared on Starters, as part of the Starters Live Chat series, where members of the Starters community can ask questions and gain insight from leaders working at the intersection of sports and technology.
Ashley Wellington-Fahey is the Founder & CEO of The Relish, a 360 sports media brand that caters to female fans through authentic storytelling and reporting. They develop and share original video content on social/digital platforms, distribute the best sports info, highlights and profiles through an e-newsletter and offer local events to the most passionate female fan bases in sports.
What was your inspiration for starting The Relish?
I grew up a sports fan. That fandom is what made me want to work in sports. When I started my career in the Seattle sports scene and then eventually the SF sports scene, I had the chance to hear a lot about how teams, leagues and brands thought about their fan bases. A lot of the conversations were around male fans, youth, moms, families and women who were more of a growth opportunity (bringing more women into fandom). I used to think, “What about my fan profile?” which was a fan profile that I was often surrounded by at games, bars, tailgates, etc. It just seemed like such a missed opportunity and I wanted to change that.
What are the biggest differences between sports content created for female fans vs male fans?
One thing I always like to make clear is that we don’t feel The Relish is necessarily solving ALL of the problems for all female fans. We are focused on a certain female fan profile that has gone incredibly underserved for a long time. So, from the perspective of our female fans, our content is more about giving female fans a voice around what’s happening in sports and finding connective interests that span the sports world with other verticals.
Do you consider The Relish to to be a ‘social-first’ brand? That is, do you expect most viewers/readers to consume your content within the FB, IG, Twitter ecosystems as opposed to on your website itself? If so, how does that affect how your team produces content?
At this moment, yes. We focus on meeting fans where they already spend time. Social is a big part of that.
Do you envision The Relish ever expanding it’s target audience outside of strictly female sports fans? Or possibly expanding content beyond just sports?
At this early stage, we’re hyper focused on female fans because it’s one of the largest, most severely underserved markets in sports. That said, we are a fan first company, so we’ll continue to pay close attention to the trends we’re seeing with our fans and fans in general and continue to develop accordingly.
In terms of new & emerging technologies that will impact the sports media space (bad or good), what are you guys most excited excited about, presents the biggest opportunity, are looking to implement into content and marketing strategy?
I nerd out big time on the influence of how robots/AI and AR will impact our lives. I nerd out even further about what that means for the future of content consumption.