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As time runs out for Newcastle to announce Kylian Mbappe, we are making a marquee signing of our own. The Upshot is hiring a Staff Writer to provide our 25,000 rabid subscribers with some light relief from the meaningless drudgery of their existence.
This is an opportunity for a sport-loving writer who wants to publish funny, irreverent stories for a large audience of intelligent sport fans, and experience life in a fast-growing media start-up.
If you’ve ever dreamed of spending your working hours making jokes about melodramatic tennis brats or Eric Cantona’s dress sense, then this is the role for you.
About The Upshot
The Upshot is an email newsletter which pulls back the curtain on your favourite sports and dives into all the stuff BBC and Sky wouldn’t touch with a bargepole: drunken antics, dressing room squabbles and the simmering sexual tension of the French football team.
Every Friday we send 25,000 subscribers a digest of seven mildly amusing stories. Nearly 1,000 of our subscribers pay a £5 a month subscription to receive a further two editions of The Upshot every week.
We started in 2020 to give British sports fans some respite from bland pundits and the inane wittering of commentators. Armed with a transfer war chest thanks to a recent injection of investment, we are aggressively growing our audience and building a sports media company which celebrates the lighter side of sport.
Unlike other publishers, The Upshot primarily makes money from paying subscriptions. We are freed from the depressing demands of online content farms, where writers hastily churn out dross for websites caked in annoying adverts. Our focus is serving up quality stories to real, paying fans.
The Upshot was founded by Jack Rivlin, a former Evening Standard news reporter who founded The Tab, a student news network backed by £7 million in investment. He sold the business in 2020.
The typical Upshot Gold member is an intelligent 45 year old man from the UK who gets his news from the Guardian, BBC Sport and Private Eye. His favourite sports are football (97% of them like it), cricket (74%) and rugby union (66%) but he will enjoy a story from any sport provided it is funny.
In this role, you will be responsible for entertaining a rapidly growing audience of intelligent sport fans. You’ll learn vital news reporting skills, sharpen your writing by focusing on quality over quantity and develop your ability to tell stories in a short, colourful style.
By joining a start-up at such an early stage, you’ll experience the intoxicating feeling of growing an audience and building a business.
Pay: £25,000-30,000 depending on your experience. If you have less than a year’s relevant experience, expect the bottom end.
Full time/part time: Although we envisage this as a full time role, we are open to employing on a part time basis. Please mention this in your application if it is relevant to you.
Location: We’re open to a mix of in-office and remote, depending on your circumstances. Our office is in Hammersmith/Kensington Olympia, London.
Responsibilities: This is a varied role. You will spend half the week finding and writing stories for our three email newsletters every week. For the remaining time, you will grow The Upshot’s subscriber base by producing content for other platforms.
- Find stories online and elsewhere, and write short, entertaining pieces for The Upshot’s three weekly email editions.
- Build a network of sources and break exclusive stories.
- Write threads and find photos and videos to grow our Twitter audience.
- Blog on the site and drive traffic via search and social media.
- Help with advertising campaigns for our paid marketing channels.
- Work on other growth experiments such as producing a print edition of The Upshot.
Skills required: This is a role for an all-rounder – a great writer who loves sport and has an appetite for gossip and humour. It’s also suited to someone who likes breaking stories and building an audience.
The ideal candidate is:
- A sharp writer who has a feel for the rhythm of short gossip stories (e.g. Private Eye, Popbitch, Guido Fawkes, diary columns), and can write clearly without resorting to awkward cliches and lame jokes.
- A huge sport (not just football) fan, who has a particular appreciation for the soap opera of sport – the gossip, drama and controversy – rather than tactical analysis.
- Someone with an irreverent sense of humour and a burning desire to make people laugh with their writing.
- The type of person who constantly looks at the audience figures and gets real satisfaction from watching them grow.
How To Apply:
Write three 100-200 word stories for The Upshot’s Friday email, which goes to all 25,000 subscribers. This won’t be published, it’s just to assess your writing.
Send them to email@example.com along with a description of your relevant experience, including links to your work.
The deadline is the evening of Wednesday, March 2nd. We will fill the role if we find someone suitable before this date, so don’t delay.
If you have any questions about your application, send them to the same email address.