New Paradigm Media LLC plans to start a magazine targeting black golf enthusiasts in May.
The bimonthly magazine, Seven Under, will report on the lifestyles of black male and female celebrities, business executives and athletes, including past and present professional golfers. It will include features on golf fans, including how the sport has contributed to their success.
James Oliver, CEO of Seven Under and New Paradigm Media, said the magazine's mission is to make the voice of black golf enthusiasts relevant on the national golf landscape.
“This publication is a prime opportunity for [golf product manufacturers and golf services companies] to move their product,” Oliver said. “African-Americans tend to over-index with respect to brand loyalty to companies that advertise in magazines that are targeted to black readers.”
He cited golf organizations in saying there are 1 million black golfers and another 2 million black golf fans.
“I represent this demographic, and there is nobody in this space taking the time to address this demographic in a consistent, meaningful manner,” Oliver said. “The market is underserved.”
Jahmal Pullen, president of West New York, NJ-based Seven Under and New Paradigm Media, agreed, saying, “The African-American golfer spends well over $1 billion per year on golf-related goods and services and is grossly underserved by both mainstream golf media and the overall golf industry.”
Oliver said he came up with the name Seven Under for several reasons.
“Seven under is really a terrific golf score, so it is symbolic of excellence,” he said. “It also relates to the concept of 'lucky number 7,' so people in general feel good about the number seven, and also because the domain name was available.”
The company does not plan to use direct mail right now, instead publicizing the magazine through e-mail marketing.
Seven Under sent e-mails promoting a 22-page prototype issue to “several different organizations and networking groups that we believe our audience is a part of,” Oliver said, though he declined to name specific groups. These groups can forward e-mails to members who would be most interested in the publication, he said.
An e-mail to Oliver's personal contact list earlier this year offering a free one-year subscription brought 700 subscriptions.
A free subscription also is offered at www.sevenunder.com. Along with name, address and e-mail address, the registration form asks for age, gender, ethnicity, education, household income, number of golf rounds played yearly and plans to buy golf equipment in the next 12 months.
In preliminary subscriber research, Seven Under found that 41 percent of those who have signed up for a subscription have graduate degrees, 64 percent earn at least $100,000 and two-thirds plan to buy golf equipment in the next 12 months.
The prototype issue featured Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets on the cover. Inside is an interview with Kidd and Nets coach Byron Scott about their love of golf. There also are articles on National Minority Golf Foundation president Barbara Douglas, who discusses missed opportunities and lost revenue in reaching minorities by the golf industry; and on Kery Davis, senior vice president of programming at HBO, who discusses how he got started in golf and what clubs he has in his golf bag.
Advertisers in the prototype include Wilson Sporting Goods Co., Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge, CitiMortgage Inc., Spence-Chapin Adoption Agency and UrbanGolfGear.com.
“The response to the prototype issue of Seven Under has been well beyond our expectations,” Pullen said. “The free one-year subscription offer could also be contributing to the tremendous traffic on our Web site and high level of general interest.”
Oliver said Seven Under will go to a pay-per-subscription model once it enters its second year. The publication mainly will be subscription-based, but 10 percent to 15 percent of distribution will be single-copy. Oliver predicted that Seven Under will have 65,000 subscribers by the end of its first year.
Seven Under will give a portion of its net income back to organizations that support minority golf initiatives.