Goal.com boss: If we don’t make money, we don’t survive

Editorial Director of Consumer Brands and Portals for Perform Group.

Graham Shaw, Editorial Director of Consumer Brands and Portals for Perform Group.

Graham Shaw, the editorial director of Perform Group which owns Goal.com, says the World Cup will be a “big project” for the football website.

Goal.com is the world’s largest football website with over a billion page views and 36 continuing editions in 17 different languages. They will be producing news, social media and columns during the tournament in Brazil.

Speaking at Leeds Trinity’s Journalism Week today, the former Editor of 365 Media at Sky, talked about the need to get several journalists in the field – particularly with massive events like the World Cup.

He said: “Goal will be sending 15 people to Brazil, 12 of them are journalists. Almost all of them can speak Portuguese and that is vital.”

The website is sharply focused on major leagues and teams in world football.

Graham spoke about how it could expand and suggested Russia as “probably” the next big step for Goal.com. He says the online coverage of sport has adapted to suit “what users want.”

Graham said: “At my age I never thought I’d have to opportunity to something so exciting. Football is a celebrity culture now. They’re bigger than movie stars.

“We really have a newspaper mentality. We supply daily news about the clubs that matter. We employ old school correspondents and actually generate news. Goal is usually 24 hours ahead.”

Graham talked about how perform manage their sports sites.

Graham talked about how Perform manage their sports sites.

Goal.com adopts a scientific approach to delivering sports news to an online audience. Graham believes this is behind the site’s “meteoric rise to prominence”.

He said: “Everything is analysed before, during and after and that knowledge enables us to cover the things that matter. The thing what Goal is really good at is traffic management.

“That knowledge allows us to cover the things that matter.

“All that matters is content. Too often people try and complicate journalism and complicate what users want.”

The Perform boss had some key bits of advice for students wanting to succeed as journalists, including that overall accuracy should first in the newsroom.

Graham added: “If you publish something that is not accurate, it ruins everything. I used to ask people three times how to spell their name on the name but it’s better to ask them three times then get it wrong.

“The must haves for a journalist are drive and initiative. I’d rather hire a less skilled person who goes the extra mile.”




Graham’s entire talk:



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