'NEW YORK TIMES' PLANS SPORTS QUARTERLY

'Play' Will Be Delivered With Sunday Edition

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- On Feb. 5 (aka Super Bowl Sunday), The New York Times will debut its take on the sports magazine, Play: The New York Times Sports Magazine. Play will arrive as a stand-alone magazine inside the Sunday Times.

Three additional issues are scheduled for 2006, and editorial will emphasize human interest and lifestyle features above sports statistics and standings.

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New publications
The Times has recently unveiled plans to introduce OnMovies, a free digest for distribution at movie theaters, and T:Holiday, a new annual edition of T: The New York Times Style Magazine.

“We believe at The Times that there really is a great opportunity to reach people who are passionate about sports, both participants and observers, and to tell sports stories with the sophisticated in-depth approach The Times is known for,” said Jyll Holzman, senior VP-advertising, The New York Times.

Mark Bryant, who told The New York Observer in August that he was working on a sports prototype for The Times, will be editor. He was most recently a book editor at HarperCollins, but is better known in the magazine business as the former editor of Outside, which won many National Magazine Awards during his tenure in the 1990s.

Excellence in sports lifestyle
“There’s always a market if someone has distribution, quality and fairness to advertisers,” said David Schwab, director-media and marketing at Octagon, a sports and entertainment marketing agency. “They’ve got an established brand name. Part of the process will be establishing the excellence of the newspaper as excellence in sports lifestyle.”

Although most readers will receive Play inside the Sunday Times, the magazine will also be distributed to another 150,000 male consumers targeted for affluence and a history of sports-related purchases or sports participation.

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