The effort is the first major initiative under the leadership of Tom Hagopian, the former VP-general manager of ESPNET SportsZone who became InterZine's president-chief operating officer in February.
Mr. Hagopian is planning similar refurbishments for InterZine's other consumer properties: iRace (http://www.irace.com), which launched in February; iSki (http://www.iski.com) and SOL Snowboarding Online (http://www.solsnowboarding.com).
"The half-life for media products on the Web is so short," said Mr. Hagopian. "We have to revisit and refresh our properties frequently in order to do the job right for readers and advertisers. At
ESPNET SportsZone, we went through three redesigns in our first two years."
Mr. Hagopian has brought a marketing and promotional focus to InterZine, which launched in 1994 and was one of the first companies to take part in America Online's Greenhouse program. He is scouting for a VP-marketing who will spearhead an agency search.
More immediately, InterZine's new emphasis on consumer marketing can be seen in an ad campaign for iGolf (http://www.igolf.com) launching this week. Print ads created in-house will run in GolfWorld and next week in GolfWeek. The campaign will extend online and into other print publications.
Mr. Hagopian finds it curious that GolfWorld and GolfWeek would sell space to what amounts to a competitor. GolfWeek is a partner in Golf Online, while GolfWorld has its own site (http://www.golf.com).
NOT A COMPETITOR?
"They didn't seem to have a problem taking our ads . . . They must want our money more. Maybe they'll consider us a competitor at some point in the future," Mr. Hagopian said.
The revamped site, meanwhile, offers news and information about the sport with a focus on several new and redesigned areas, including "News & Leaderboards," a constantly updated scoreboard tracking golf events around the world; "Features," where readers can find trivia games, message boards and a potpourri of golf information; "Instruction," where golfers can get tips; "Proshop," a golf retail store; and "Search and Directories," which links users to more than 1,300 golf-related sites.
General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac, which inked a broad ad pact with iGolf earlier this year, will sponsor the service's coverage of The Masters, which will include on-site reports from Augusta, Ga., this month, chat sessions with players, a behind-the-scenes look at the course and hole-by-hole graphics, Real-Audio interviews and a photo gallery.
Cadillac's sponsorship of iGolf's Masters coverage complements its sponsorship of CBS' broadcast of the event.