ESPN goes niche with saltwater fishing magazine

ESPN Outdoors is introducing a new annual magazine this month designed to increase the media impact of its saltwater fishing television program, ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series.

Debuting March 17, ESPN Outdoors Saltwater magazine will be direct mailed to a select 250,000 subscribers of ESPN’s existing Bassmaster magazine. Bassmaster has a total circulation of 518,000, but only readers from coastal areas — essential for saltwater fishing — will be targeted with the new title. Both magazines have readerships that are predominantly male (98%), and annual average household income for Bassmaster readers is $88,279.

“We wanted to create a true multimedia platform that had TV and print and a dotcom component so we could go to the marketplace and sell an integrated media package to advertisers interested in the saltwater fishing arena,” said Tom Ricks, VP and general manager for BASS, which produces Bassmaster magazine, BASS Times, Fishing Tackle Retailer, Junior Bassmaster Magazine, The Bassmasters weekly television program, the Bassmaster Tournament Trail and the Bassmaster Classic. “Targeting specific groups of our subscribers that live in coastal areas and are more likely to saltwater fish would, we thought, be a good way to deliver them content in addition.”

ESPN Outdoors is offering a free digital edition of Saltwater to online, starting March 17. A newsletter is being sent to the Bassmaster subscribers who are set to receive Saltwater, to get them excited about the new magazine. The company also is supporting its Saltwater brand with TV ads on its other programs.

The ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series, which launched last year, will return to TV on March 29. Live events, which are used to produce content for the show, site and magazine, start April 4. Many of the features in Saltwater magazine focus on locations used in the series.

Saltwater will be the largest-circulation saltwater fishing magazine in the US as of its launch, beating out competitors like Saltwater Sportsman — rate base 160,000 — and Coastal Angler. The first edition of Saltwater has 52 ad pages, and the ad/edit ratio is around 40/60.

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