THE MARKETING 100: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: JOHN FAHEY

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National Geographic writers have scoured the earth for stories, but it took John Fahey to help the magazine's parent company, National Geographic Society, assemble global marketing deals and brand extensions.

As exec VP-chief operating officer of National Geographic Society, Mr. Fahey's duty is to balance the need to protect the image of a venerable brand name with the drive to increase the society's revenues. Mr. Fahey's division oversees video products, TV shows, software, maps and a World Wide Web site; profits help fund National Geographic Society endeavors.

"National Geographic is a brand that stands for quality and integrity, and it has been protected for many years. It's a brand that people say is as good or better than it's been," says Mr. Fahey, 45.

TV programming will appear on NBC and ABC next TV season, along with the society's weekly TBS series "National Geographic Explorer" and children's programming on Disney Channel. Internationally, the society has a deal with NBC to start the National Geographic Channel in the U.K.

On the retail front, the society is now licensing everything from toys to clothing and pushing more aggressively its books and videos.

One of the most ambitious CD-ROM projects-now being undertaken-is "The Complete National Geographic: 108 Years of National Geographic," marketed with the help of sponsor Eastman Kodak Co. The society is also expanding into road map retailing this fall.

All of this marketing activity is being driven by the strength of the magazine, Mr. Fahey says. The June issue of National Geographic carried the most ad pages in its history, 57.33, up 84% over the year before.

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