I missed our anniversary. The Equalizer turned 11 years old earlier this month, during the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup. The long days and late nights of covering the tournament made day-to-day coverage a priority.
We probably didn’t make a big enough deal about turning 10 last year. This website started as a project in college and has grown to become a standard-bearer for coverage of women’s soccer and a proof of concept that there is a market for women’s sports media. Our Challenge Cup included over 130 articles around the tournament by more than 15 writers, plus others behind the scenes who don’t get the credit they deserve. That makes me immensely proud.
I also can’t hide my frustration that we aren’t reaching more people with these incredible stories we are sharing. This year, and the challenges presented by it, has forced every business to adapt and (bear with me on the use of this word, media friends…) pivot. Hard conversations have had to take place in personal lives, and the pandemic brought to the forefront a new level of transparency from brands and the individual athletes we cover. I want to be more transparent with you — the members who make The Equalizer possible, and those who we need more than ever — because I don’t think we’ve been explicit enough in the past.
If we are going to continue growing, we need more support. Today, we rolled out the “Choose What You Pay” option which allows members to support our coverage beyond the cost of their monthly or annual subscription (which we feel is a real bargain as it is).
Now, members can choose to pay anything above the standard monthly ($5.50) and annual ($59) prices for membership. So, if you want to support the great work we are doing by contributing $50 per month or $200 per year, for example, you can do that now. Once you are signed in on the site, click “Account” under your avatar on the right rail (top right on an article page, below the article carousels on the home page) and you’ll see your subscriptions. You can click “Change Price” to increase your contribution at your regularly scheduled billing cycle.
You can also make a one-time payment on top of any existing memberships, as a way of saying ‘keep up the great work’ to us. Anybody — existing member or not — can do this. So, if you’re already an annual subscriber and want to further support The Equalizer on top of that, you can do that for any amount and still keep your regular subscription. Since contributing this also creates a membership account for you, we’ve set that floor at $100.
Ready to give more? Wow! We should talk. Email info [at] equalizersoccer [dot] com. You can enter any amount of $100 or more here for your one-time contribution:
I continue to hear this statistic recited: Only 4% of sports media coverage is dedicated to women. I hate that. We hate that. And we’ve also been actively trying to do something to change it for the past 11 years. What are the tangible actions being taken by those in positions of power to change that stat? I’ve spent over two years talking to potential investors, possible partners and advertisers, and larger media outlets about what their plans are for covering women’s soccer. I’ve heard every excuse.
The Equalizer switched to a subscription model in March 2018 out of necessity. We used to run advertisements which made us $500 a month (in good times) and made for a terrible user experience. We stopped relying on questionable filler ads and excuses from corporate America, and we turned to you, the fans and our readers.
The Equalizer is debt-free and it is profitable. We generate enough revenue to allow me to be our full-time editor/writer/chief of audience/brand ambassador/IT lead and whatever else might pop up, with enough left over to pay an extraordinary group of freelancers who in a sensible world would be doing all this full-time.
But sensible isn’t always so simple. That leaves us here, asking if you — our members who already see the value in what we do — feel that advancing the coverage of women’s soccer is worth that much more.
For the media companies, brands and investors out there: If you see value in an established property within a growing sport, with a sweet-spot of 18-35, 50-50 male/female, discretionary-income-spending demographic, I am happy to tell you more about it. Email info [at] equalizersoccer [dot] com.
If you are thinking about what you can do and how you can get involved, it’s long past time to stop thinking and start acting. There are exactly two outlets in the United States with someone dedicated full-time to national coverage of women’s soccer. It isn’t a coincidence that both of those sites require paywalls for their coverage to exist. Fans have invested and shown there is a market for women’s soccer coverage. Why haven’t more decision-makers realized the same?
We will keep on going and continue growing — if not with those in positions to make larger changes, then in spite of them. So, if you can give more, please do, and know that your contribution is going directly to funding more player storytelling, informed analysis, human-interest features, video projects, podcasts and more. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Not yet a member of The Equalizer Extra? Get monthly or annual access by clicking here.
Founder, The Equalizer
P.S.: Check your emails for a survey if you are already a member of The Equalizer Extra! The more feedback you give us, the more we can optimize the content we bring you! We’ll have a separate version soon for the general public.