Magazine for female teen athlete to launch

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RISE Magazine, a sports and lifestyle magazine for teen athletes, will debut its female-focused counterpart, GIRL, in September.

GIRL will be distributed to head coaches of female sports teams in high schools across the country. The premier edition will have a controlled circulation of 300,000, and a full-page color ad in the new magazine will start at $15,000.

While RISE, with a circulation of 910,000, has a 30 percent female readership, GIRL will cater exclusively to the 3 million girls who are student athletes in the United States. Its inaugural issue comes shortly after the 35th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, legislation that prohibits gender discrimination in federally funded school programs. The law is most often applied to public school athletics. The issue will also celebrate female athletes such as Billie Jean King and Mia Hamm.

"Trends show that more and more girls are participating in high school sports," said David Weiss, publisher of GIRL and RISE.

"Participation levels of girls [in sports] are blowing away those of male counterparts," Weiss continued. "I think the teen female is a different person now than she was. Teen titles about boyfriends and celebrities are going away. These girls are not really interested in reading about Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan - they have their own lives."

Weiss said the company has been thinking about how to celebrate girls in sports for a couple of years. And the Title IX anniversary, the Don Imus scandal and this spring's upcoming Women's World Cup created the "perfect storm" to launch GIRL.

GIRL will be staffed by RISE employees, but Weiss promises a more feminine feel to the magazine than that of male-dominated flagship RISE. Editorial content will continue to focus largely on sports, but a lifestyle aspect will also be included. Teen athletes will be featured in photo shoots that show them both on and off the playing field.

GIRL, like RISE, will be ad-supported and free to readers. Weiss said ad space has not yet been finalized, but that GIRL is looking at many of RISE's advertisers, which include Gatorade, Nike, Playstation and the US Marines.

Additional, female-focused advertisers, such Playtex, are also being considered. Weiss says he is trying to create positive images with GIRL's advertising. This positive message will extend to GIRL's distribution: issues sent to coaches will include a note congratulating the athletes on their achievements.

The magazine will look into sponsorship deals, contests and other forms of corporate involvement with later issues. The second issue of GIRL is slated to come out in spring 2008, with the possibility of the title being published four times a year.

Readers will be able to peruse GIRL online and purchase extra copies at risemag.com. A GIRL microsite is also in the works.

"These girls all love to play sports, the numbers show it, and no one is covering their accomplishments," said Weiss.

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