North Face Launches Online Magazine

Outdoor gear retailer The North Face and custom publishing company Pace Communications today are expected to launch a new online magazine for outdoor enthusiasts.

The debut issue of the magazine, dubbed "Epic," will include five major feature stories, online photo spreads, a video clip of an expedition to Nepal, and downloadable pdf files of trails, among other items. New content will appear monthly.

The Web-zine won't carry ads for at least the next three months, but the company intends to look for ad partners, said Craig Waller, chief marketing and sales officer at Pace. "The intention is to explore opportunities for advertising," Waller said.

The magazine also will contain links back to the North Face site, Waller said, but the editorial content won't promote North Face merchandise. Waller added that one of the goals of the magazine is to reassure outdoor enthusiasts, such as hikers and mountain climbers, that The North Face hasn't abandoned its outdoor-adventure roots in favor of winter-wear fashion.

The initiative marks the second online-only custom publication that Pace has created. Previously, the company published mMode for AT&T Wireless, but that magazine vanished after the company's 2004 merger with Cingular. Pace also creates custom publications for other clients, including Delta, United, and US Airways.

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