Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

World Tennis Volleys for Advantage

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

World Tennis Volleys for Advantage

Article excerpt

Like their readers, World Tennis executives know the importance of a competitive edge. And they're hoping that a name change and new format for their magazine will give them that advantage with both readers and advertisers.

In September, World Tennis changes its name to Tennis Illustrated and makes its debut with an oversize trim format (9 1/8" x 10 7/8"), an upgraded paper stock and more compelling graphics. In addition, the magazine will alter its production schedule to allow more expanded and timelier coverage of major tennis tournaments.

Journalistically, the magazine will remain essentially the same, still covering instruction, tournaments and players. But art director Wendy Talve Rheingold wants the magazine to become the "showcase of the best tennis photography in the world."

The "no-frills design" the magazine implemented two years ago "lacked a certain flair and excitement. Now it will convey the beauty and excitement of tennis."

The name World Tennis didn't stick in readers' minds, according to Stephen McEvoy, publisher. McEvoy hopes the new name, in addition to being more exciting, will distinguish his title more clearly from competitor Tennis.

The move comes at a critical time for the Family Media magazine. The company's recent attempts to sell the title have made some advertisers nervous. And its loss of the 272,000 United States Tennis Association members from its subscriber base to Tennis lowered its credibility with some advertisers. Tennis outbid World Tennis to become the official USTA magazine in 1989. McEvoy claims the magazine converted 90,000 of those readers to regular paid subscribers in 1989 and 1990. But in the last half of 1990, World Tennis still carried far fewer subscribers than did Tennis--474,879 vs. 716,748.

"If you're targeting the avid player, the USTA members are most important," notes Gayle Deubel, vice president/media director of Cole Henderson Drake, which handles the Dunlop account. …

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