Details Launches Two Events to Link Lifestyle with Sports via Fall Activities

Demonstrations of BMX Stunt Riding and Extreme Skateboarding

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Details magazine has devised a two-event game plan this fall, attempting to bridge young men's interests in sports with fashion and other lifestyle brands.

The events underscore Details' efforts to expand its share in the cluttered men's magazine field (AA, Aug. 31).

Details staged its first-ever "Field Day" Sept. 12 in Manhattan, bringing readers together with sponsors for a daylong series of activities combining sports with music and fashion.

More than 3,000 readers in Details' target audience of young men 18 to 34 years old were expected to attend the event along with 10 sponsors that demonstrated and sampled products in an environment mixing multiple themes, said Linda Mason, publisher of the Conde Nast Publications monthly.

Last year's planned inaugural "Field Day" was canceled due to weather and other factors.

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES

The event mixed hands-on activities and passive, spectator opportunities, she said. There were demonstrations of BMX bicycle stunt riding and extreme skateboarding; several participant sporting events including hockey slapshot and basketball shooting; and performances by two bands.

"We're bringing the reader's real life together with the magazine -- fusing sports, entertainment, music and fashion into one experience, just like people do in real life," Ms. Mason said.

Participating sponsors previously represented in various other Details marketing events were designer label Perry Ellis, Foot Locker, Ford Motor Co.'s Mercury, Miller Brewing Co.'s Miller Genuine Draft beer and apparel marketer Union Bay. The new sponsors were JVC Co. of America, designer Lagerfeld, Nintendo of America, Nora Beverages' Naya water and Unilever's Pond's skincare.

"Field Day" was the first in a series of "fusion" events the magazine has planned for the next few years, Ms. Mason said.

"We're striving to reflect a culture where star athletes are increasingly identified by certain fashion and designers, and where entertainment is part of young men's lifestyles," she explained. "Cars and clothing brands are integrated into movie scripts and some of the best-selling music CDs come from films; our sponsors are derived from this mix."

The event, handled in-house, benefited the Fresh Air Fund and was promoted on Fox Sport Network's "Xtreme Sport Television."

Separately, Details is staging its second annual college marketing tour, part of a growing trend of fashion magazines visiting the nation's largest campuses to drum up new readers.

CENTERS ON IN-LINE SKATING

The "Hooked-Up" tour centers on in-line skating, one of the most popular activities of college students.

The tour visits 10 major campuses this month and next month, backed by a special 28-page ad section in the October issue of Details. That section features a comic book-style story in which sponsors' products are woven into the narrative (AA, Aug. 31). The sponsors also run ads in the section.

Produced by college sampling company MarketSource, Cranbury, N.J., the tour is co-sponsored by the Aggressive Skaters Association. At the "Hooked-Up" tour, extreme skaters will demonstrate stunts on a giant skateboarding structure that moves from tour site to tour site. College students will get to demonstrate their own skating moves as well, Ms. Mason said.

Sponsors demonstrate and sample products at each tour stop. They include Hyundai Motor America, Levi's SilverTab jeans, L'Oreal, MasterCard International, videogame maker Namco, National Milk Processors Education Program, Panasonic Interactive, Pond's skincare, videogame manufacturer SquareSoft, Sony PlayStation and Zippo lighters.

`IRRESISTIBLE ACTIVITY'

"It's hard to get young men to come out of the dorms, unless you offer them some irresistible activity, and in-line skating is one of them," Ms. Mason said.

Local radio station disc jockeys in each city will visit the event, broadcasting in tents sponsored by Levi Strauss & Co.

The colleges on the "Hooked-Up" tour schedule span the country, and include Florida State University, Kansas State University and the University of Southern California.

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