The Observer is to move into the retail consumer magazine business
with the launch of a monthly general sports title.
Observer Sport Monthly launched on 7 May and will continue to be given
away free with The Observer on the first Sunday of each month.
From the second issue, the magazine will also be sold separately on
newsstands on the Monday following its publication in the newspaper.
Information on its cover price and print run is being withheld for the
time being for ’competitive reasons’.
The 68-page magazine will carry ten pages of advertising sold by the
magazine sales team, which is led by Adam Freeman, assisted by the
newspaper client sales teams.
Key categories are motoring and toiletries. Advertisers in the first
issue include Renault, Volvo, Peugeot, Vaseline facial products and
Alfred Dunhill fragrance.
Stuart Taylor, who was confirmed as Guardian Newspapers’ ad director
last week following Carolyn McCall’s elevation to managing director
designate, claimed advertisers had responded positively to the
’We welcome the magazine as it gets us into different markets such as
male grooming,’ he said. ’The client teams are instrumental in the
magazine’s targeting of these new markets.’
The editor is Matt Tench who formerly edited FourFourTwo and was deputy
sports editor of The Independent. Editorial will differ from
conventional sports magazines in that stories will be presented in a
wider social or political context.
Guardian Newspapers claims to be making a major investment in the title
and is supporting it with an ongoing heavyweight marketing campaign.
This will comprise TV, radio, fly posters and promotions in the group’s
The TV campaign broke during last week’s live Champions League game and
will run on ITV and Channel 4. A targeted radio campaign on Capital FM,
Capital Gold, Heart, Kiss, Virgin, Talk Sport and Capital Gold will
promote newsstand sales.
Marketing support includes a sports calendar inserted into The Guardian
on 6 May, and the distribution of oranges with promotional stickers at
Managing director Caroline Marland said: ’Our research showed a major
audience for this magazine and it was better received than even the