ESPN The Magazine is taking sponsored content to the next level: By bringing it into the folds of the print edition. Adweek reports that starting with its 15th Anniversary issue, the glossy will be publishing Coors branded pieces. The partnership will last until the end of this year.
Chad Millman, editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine, said the editorial featured in “Cold Hard Facts presented by Coors Light” will be completely controlled by the magazine. For the record, he feels great about the deal. “Sometimes as a magazine, you feel like you’re playing with one hand tied behind your back because we’re committed to legacy rules that, from a personal perspective, I just don’t think are relevant anymore,” Millman told Adweek.
Some do not agree with Millman. Some see the blurring of the lines between editorial and advertising as a negative, especially when it goes particularly awry. This was most recently demonstrated by The Atlantic. The magazine’s sponsored post about Scientology prompted so much criticism, The Atlantic’s team removed it. With things a little more permanent in print, it’ll be interesting to see ESPN The Magazine’s approach.