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Sun-Times sells subs with Cubs

The Chicago Sun-Times is using its collectible magazine on the 2008 Chicago Cubs as a premium to draw in new subscribers.

The magazine, The Cubs: Their Thrilling 2008 Season, is being published in a limited run this month celebrating of the Cubs’ winning regular season record. The magazine is on sale for $7.99 nationwide at Borders book stores and various retailers, but readers who sign up for home delivery of the Sun-Times will receive the 84-page glossy for free. The promotion runs through October 17 — possibility longer, if the Cubs advance in the Major League Baseball playoffs.

“We have in the past offered premiums if you subscribe to the paper,” said Courtney Price, senior director, consumer sales and retention, Chicago Sun-Times. “We do that because subscribers are very valuable, especially high-quality customers, so it’s worthwhile to. We’ve tied this in with a very big promotional push aligned with the Cubs, where we also gave away rooftop tickets to the first two playoff games and are inserting free cheer cards in the papers.

In-house ads in the Sun-Times are promoting the offer. Each of the Sun-Times News Group’s 10 community papers — including the Courier News and the Beacon News — are also running individually branded ads that offer the magazine in exchange for subscriptions. Two of the newspaper’s sports columnists are hyping the offer on their morning radio show, and other radio options are being explored.

“Ideally, we’re hoping, with the tie to the Cubs, to attract a slightly younger demographic than our traditional audience,” Price added.

As of March 30, 2008, total average paid circulation over the past 26 weeks for the Sun Times was 247,469 on Sundays and 312,274 on weekdays. Price said she is looking for a 25% incremental lift in acquisition numbers during the weeks of the promotion.

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