Time Inc., The Sports Illustrated Group and Dennis Media TransAsia India have come together to launch Sports Illustrated (SI) India. The monthly edition will make its debut in the country on October 5.
Priced at Rs 100, the magazine will have an initial print run of 1,00,000. The content mix of the Indian edition will include a combination of guest columns, in depth analysis of sports and photography. The debut issue will have 128 pages, out of which 100 will be dedicated to editorial and the remaining for advertising.
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"We decided to keep it in a monthly format because we are starting from scratch and we would not have been able to do justice to the kind of in depth analysis we are looking at for the Indian edition."
Time Inc. and The Sports Illustrated Group have been publishing international editions of SI under license in South Africa since May 2006 and in China since September 2006.
The primary target audience of the magazine comprises males in the age group of 25—45 years, and the secondary target group (TG) is everyone who is a sports fan. SI India will be edited by Sundeep Misra, a sports journalist with more than 15 years of experience.
Misra says, "I have always been a fan of the American edition of Sports Illustrated, so to be at the helm of the Indian license is a great thrill for me. I am absolutely positive that Indian sports fans are going to love the package we are putting together and cannot wait to see how they react to the magazine."
SI India has roped in names like Saurav Ganguly, Farokh Engineer and Shiv Kapur for the guest columns. The cover feature of the first issue of SI India will have 20 greatest Indian cricketers of all time.
Downey shares that the Indian edition will be fast paced like the other editions of the magazine, and every month, the new edition will pick one article from the archive of SI.
The launch will be accompanied by an advertising campaign across India's leading media and advertising publications.
In an official communiqué, Terry McDonell, group editor, Sports Illustrated, says, "We are very excited to expand SI's global footprint with this latest edition in India. This is an opportunity to work closely with the SI India editorial team to develop unique opportunities for the entire Sports Illustrated group."
Jim Jacovides, vice—president, licensing and syndication, Time Inc., says, "The passion for sports in India made this a natural market for Sports Illustrated's international expansion. We are confident that our partner, Dennis Media TransAsia, shares our values, bringing local expertise to develop Sports Illustrated India into a top notch magazine that serves Indian sports fans and advertisers as only Sports Illustrated can."
For the record, founded in 1954, SI is a division of Time Inc., the world's leading magazine publishing company and a subsidiary of Time Warner. Sports Illustrated is a multimedia sports brand and the SI franchise is anchored by Sports Illustrated, which reaches a weekly audience of nearly 21 million. The SI franchise also includes Sports Illustrated Kids (www.sikids.com), a monthly magazine targeted at kids of 8 years and above; and Golf magazine, among others.