Seven new faces join the team – doubling the current squad, say the publishers – with three new full-time sports journalists being posted in major football cities outside London for the first time – Manchester, Liverpool and Madrid. This is one of a series of investments the Evening Standard is making to grow its presence nationally and internationally.
* James Robson has covered Manchester City and Manchester United for the past 11 years and is a well-respected face on the north-west football scene.
* David Lynch is a leading authority on Merseyside who previously worked on Liverpool Football Club’s own website.
* Ben Hayward has more than 15 years’ experience covering football in Spain, including eight years in Barcelona.
Four other signings in London will ensure an enhanced service of live match coverage, breaking news and fan interaction around the clock. In addition to the Premier League coverage, the site now also offers coverage of La Liga.
According to the publishers, the expansion comes off the back of a hugely successful World Cup for standard.co.uk which attracted an audience of almost 5 million.
The site is also introducing new features to its coverage, including longer build-ups to games, regular push notification updates, and increased video coverage on site and across social platforms.
For the first time, commercial partners can advertise within live match coverage, using in-stream targeted ads. These blogs reportedly achieve an average dwell time of two-and-a-half minutes, which the Standard says is above the industry norm.
Richard Parry, Digital Sports Editor at the Evening Standard, said: “We are very excited to be starting the new season with a bigger team and dedicated reporters in three new football-mad cities. Our aim is to take the very best of an established and trusted brand and extend it to our ever-growing national and international audience.”