It started as a dinner conversation among three friends. Ellen Hyslop wove a story of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ big win the previous night. Her enthusiastic, conversational, and fresh voice drew in Jacie deHoop and Roslyn McLarty, who weren’t sports fanatics.

As detailed in their about story, Jacie and Roslyn found staying up to date on sports felt like work. Traditional sports media outlets assume readers and viewers already know the backstory.

The trio recognized they could fill the gap and become content entrepreneurs. The sports content creators co-founded The Gist, “a sports media startup that creates sports content, experiences, and community that are by women, and for all sports fans.”

Begun as a weekly newsletter, The Gist now publishes three times a week. It also expanded its content to localize for nine cities in the United States and Canada. They also have a weekly podcast The GIST of It in the content mix and a social media presence.

In the last year, its newsletter audience grew 350% and total revenue over 1,000%, according to Jillian Canning in Forbes. Among its strategic partners are the NBA, FanDuel, Wilson, and Adidas.

“The Gist’s traction in the last year demonstrates there’s demand for a new and refreshing voice and format for sports news, and that there’s opportunity for the whole industry to grow when sports content is inclusive, accessible, and equal in its coverage of men’s and women’s sports,” Roslyn McLarty, co-founder of The Gist, told Forbes.

Why we’re a Stan: Finding a new way to tell stories that have been done the same way for over 100 years can seem daunting. But The Gist co-founders didn’t let that stop them. These digital content creators also focused on doing one thing really well (weekly newsletter) before increasing the frequency or adding content products.

About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.