Wall Street Journal Embraces Horse Race

Will Produce Special Section for the Breeders' Cup

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The Wall Street Journal is developing a special ad section for the Breeders' Cup this October, the paper's first ad section about a sports property and the Cup's first ad buy in the paper.
Michael Rooney
Michael Rooney

Under the new ownership of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., the Journal has broadened both its editorial coverage and the ad categories in its sights. That has meant a heavy emphasis on politics, especially during the hard-fought Democratic primaries, but also a bid for fashion advertising with a new glossy magazine planned for this fall. Last March, the Journal added a Friday sports page and an expanded sports section online.

Breeders' Cup organizers are actually shifting "a fairly significant portion" of its ad buys to digital media from print, but they also saw a new opportunity at the Journal, according to Peter Land, CMO at the Cup. "The Journal seemed to be more interested in reaching out to sports properties," Mr. Land said. "We were interested in doing some things differently."

Expanding coverage
"As we broaden the journalism and expand our coverage, sports is certainly part of that," said Michael Rooney, chief revenue officer at Journal parent Dow Jones and a former ESPN veteran. "We've been covering sports for a long time in a variety of ways but we're really starting to turn up the volume on that."

The special ad section is open to marketers beyond its chief sponsor, Mr. Rooney said. "This is open to our sales force. That's a great opportunity for us as well obviously. There are some traditional categories like beer, where we know that they know that our readers drink beer -- but it hasn't been a medium that they've spent a lot of money in. We're hoping that this would be attractive to them as a category, as one example," he said.
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