Agency's Kick! Magazine Unites Chevy, Others With Soccer Faithful
DETROIT--C-E Communications is launching a new soccer magazine, Kick!, through its Aegis Group Publishers unit, marking the agency's first venture outside custom publishing.
Aegis, in Warren, Mich., publishes more than 40 periodicals and coordinates six Web sites for marketers around the world. Unlike the magazine publisher's other titles, which are each developed for and fully supported by a single advertiser, Kick! is being launched by C-E and includes advertising from companies inside and outside its client roster. The first issue, which debuts this week, includes advertising from Chevrolet, the GM Card, Reebok, Fox Interactive, Kellogg's and BIC.
Chevrolet--the largest client of C-E and its sister agency, Campbell-Ewald Advertising, also in Warren--last year inked a three-year agreement with U.S. Soccer, the national governing body for soccer in the U.S. and the largest national organization for youth soccer via the U.S. Youth Soccer League Associations. That agreement prompted Campbell-Ewald and C-E to look for ways to take the partnership beyond traditional joint marketing activities, said Lou Schultz, president and chief executive officer of C-E Communications.
GM is a heavy advertiser in the first issue, with two-page ads for the Venture minivan and Lumina sedan and single-page ads for the GM credit card, Malibu sedan and Cavalier sports coupe (on the back cover).
Kick! will be mailed free of charge to one million households in the top 25 markets associated with state youth soccer associations under the umbrella of the U.S. Youth Soccer Association, Schultz said. The quarterly, which carries a $3 cover price, will also be tested at a select number of newsstands, he said.
Kick! represents another foray into relationship marketing, reaching potential consumers where they live, work and play, Schultz said. "It's a good example of where the [advertising] business is heading," he said.
While the magazine represents a financial risk for Aegis and C-E, Schultz didn't rule out the possibility of creating similar publications that would focus on subjects that might appeal to a range of advertisers. "Our reason for being is to find marketing vehicles to fit our clients' needs, not just to run ads," he said.
Kick! will focus on the interests of soccer players and their families. More than 18 million people play soccer in the U.S., more than baseball or football, said Jim Palmer, Aegis managing director. The magazine is edited by Jamie Trecker, soccer correspondent for USA Today and Inside Sports magazine.
Editorial content, which makes up about 60 percent of Kick!'s pages, appeals to kids and teens. Marketers know that children exert "a tremendous amount of influence in spending and buying, including car buying," Schultz said. "It's a group being lost to the [import car manufacturers].
We have to talk to them."