Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation calls in Open Road

A women's sport charity backed by Dame Kelly Holmes has brought in agency support as it gets set to make a splash at the Olympics.

High profile: Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes backs the WSFF
High profile: Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes backs the WSFF

The Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF), which promotes sports for women, has called on Open Road to encourage the media to give greater coverage to women's sporting events in the upcoming Games.

The ongoing retainer brief was won following a pitch battle and comes in the wake of last year's furore over the all-male shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Victoria Tate, director and co-founder of Open Road, said that while there would be a consumer-facing element, much of the agency's work would be aimed 'at the key decision makers in the media'.

She said: 'There's a lot of debate around women's sport at the moment, including the media giving a disproportionate amount of coverage to male sports, and if you're going to engage with it, now is the time to do that.

'A lot of people want to watch women's sport and can't, and quite a few of those are men.

'This isn't about being feminist - it's about raising the profile and saying "now is the time, so let's get real about it".'

As well as working on the Olympics, Open Road will be more generally raising the foundation's profile in the media and online, as well as providing backing for a series of upcoming policy reports.

The agency's team of four will be reporting to foundation CEO Sue Tibballs.

Tibballs said: 'There is a huge and growing interest in women's sport and fitness from fans, the media and commercial investors.

'We are looking forward to working with Open Road to unlock the full potential of women's sport and fitness.'

The WSFF is led by chairman Tanni Grey-Thompson, a record-breaking former Paralympic star and life peer in the House of Lords. The foundation is linked to Sport England.

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