Mag Bag: U.S. News College Issue Gets Most Ads Ever

U.S. News College Issue Gets Most Ads Ever

U.S. News and World Report's 2007 issue ranking the nation's best colleges and universities has garnered more ad pages than any previous issue, while the title's Web site has racked up more online impressions than in any comparable period. The school ranking issue, a hardcover publication that looks more like a book than a magazine, hit the newsstands with a dull thud last Friday, in large part because of 82 pages of ads--a 30 percent jump over last year. Meanwhile, the magazine's Web site racked up 8.18 million page views in the three-day period from Friday to Monday, an 110 percent increase over the same period last year.

Ad categories represented include automotive, education, financial, insurance, pharmaceutical, technology and telecommunications. The annual college issue has traditionally been a bonanza for U.S. News, which fields the most recognized ranking of schools in the magazine market, with a self-selecting audience of educated young people from households with some disposable income.

Bill Holiber, the publication's president, pointed to the high degree of engagement anxious college-bound readers bring to the magazine: "This year's increase in advertising underscores the value to advertisers of being associated with this powerful brand at a time when parents and students are engaged in one of their most important--and daunting--life decisions."

Nike and Michael Jordan Make a Stack

Stack, a magazine that aims to help young athletes excel at sports, announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Nike's Jordan brand to create a custom publication to be distributed to high school athletes, bearing lessons, stories, and exercise regimens stamped with the imprimatur of the world's greatest living basketball player. There will also, of course, be plenty of room for Nike advertisements. The 32-page magazine will be distributed to 125,000 teen athletes by coaches and athletic directors at 1,200 schools nationwide.

The Stack Jordan custom publication will focus on the importance of perseverance and discipline with success stories from famous athletes like Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony, Andre Ward, Marvin Harrison, Mike Bibby--and of course, Jordan himself. According to Nick Palazzo, co-founder of Stack, "The Stack/Jordan brand custom publication shows high school athletes that through hard work, knowledge and dedicated training, they can take their game to the next level. We hope that this special issue inspires young athletes to follow in Michael Jordan's footsteps and turn perceived weaknesses into strengths."

VNU Puts Out Contract on China

VNU Business Media will launch a Chinese edition of Contract, a monthly publication covering interior design and architecture for commercial and office space, the company announced Tuesday--VNU's first Chinese publication. The Chinese edition will be distributed bi-monthly with a circulation of 17,500, including execs in Fortune 500 companies with Chinese operations. To drive distribution Contract China will leverage trade shows operated by VNU Exhibitions Asia, including Domotex/China Floor, R&T Asia, Hospitality Design Asia, and Shanghai Design Week.

Edward Leung will serve as Contract China's editor, heading up a team of journalists covering most of China's major metropolitan areas. China's interior design industry currently employs over half a million people, and is growing rapidly as the country's economy continues to expand at a feverish clip. The magazine will focus on the corporate, retail, educational, hospitality, health care, government and institutional markets.

Sporting News Breaks Records

Popular sports weekly Sporting News is enjoying the greatest period of commercial success since its founding over 120 years ago, the company announced Wednesday--with September ad revenue jumping 34 percent over the same month last year. Individually, the September 8th and 15th issues showed even bigger increases, with the first jumping 62 percent on a year-over-year basis, and the second a remarkable 130 percent. Meanwhile, the publication's Web site is also breaking records, with 155 percent growth in ad revenue for September 2006 over the same month last year. Rick Allen, the title's president and CEO, pointed to innovative strategies--including blogs and social networking--as part of the reason for the site's growth.

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