American City Business Journals is introducing weekly Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal for people who depend on sports for a paycheck.
Being launched in mid-April, the new title will primarily compete with industry must-read "The Sports Business Daily," a daily electronic magazine produced by Interzine Productions.
Another smaller title from International Sports Summit conference organizer E.J. Krause & Associates is in the start-up phase.
SportsBusiness Publisher Richard Weiss anticipates the reader base will include those staging sporting events and those providing services to that group, as well as local government officials and others involved in stadium development and securing sports franchises.
Initial circulation is 22,500 with an eventual goal of 60,000 to 70,000 paid. Starting as a controlled-circulation title, the plan is to convert at least half the readership to paid by the end of 1998.
SportsBusiness is going after a niche Times Mirror Magazines pioneered 10 years ago with Sports Inc., which did not succeed.
STAKES GET BIGGER
"A lot has changed since Sports Inc. was around just in terms of the magnitude of the industry," Mr. Weiss said. "The stakes are bigger, there are more players involved, everything about it is bigger."
Advertisers in the prototype issue include NationsBank, J.P. Morgan & Co., sports agent IMG and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, a law firm specializing in sports.
For the launch, a color page will be $8,000; b&w $7,100.
E.J. Krause & Associates' new book, Sports Sense, is being launched with a target circulation of 10,000 and will be available through subscription. The second issue will appear in March, when it goes twice each month.
Sports Sense will run 16 to 20 pages, with four to five ad pages in each issue. Weekly SportsBusiness will be much larger, with 52-to-64-page issues and a staff of 50 reporters throughout the country with headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.
`SPORTS SENSE' SPONSORS
The January edition of Sports Sense is sponsored by the Goodwill Games and IVS Marketing, each buying a $3,000 color page.
Craig Tartasky, VP-executive director of the sports division at Krause, said the magazine is closing deals with three advertisers for four-to-six-month sponsorship deals.
Krause's sports division has compiled a database of 38,000 people, 10,000 of whom have been targeted for subscription.
"We want to crawl before we walk," said Mr. Tartasky.
Mr. Tartasky believes Sports Sense can co-exist with "The Sports Business Daily."
"The industry gets a news briefing every morning [via `The Sports Business Daily'] but not a sense of the contextual nature of those stories," said Mr. Tartasky.
Jeffrey Pollack, president and publisher of "The Sports Business Daily," is skeptical of new competitors.
"Obviously, the frequency of the others will determine what sort of need-to-know audience is being reached. We have it covered on a daily basis. We'll see if it's there for a weekly or monthly."
Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.