Forever Sports Middle East

Team TMN sit down with Group Commercial Manager of White Fox Media, Matthew McMullan, to talk about the launch of new men’s sports and lifestyle publication, Forever Sports Middle East

Tell us a bit about Forever Sports Middle East?
Forever Sports Middle East is the region’s only dedicated monthly sports and lifestyle magazine targeting men aged 18-40. Aiming to be ‘The Insider Guide To Sport’, we offer readers a unique glimpse into the mind of the modern global sporting superstar through cutting edge editorial and photography. The magazine also features a blend of technology, fashion and grooming to ensure that we are in tune with our demographic of international citizens living and working around the Middle East.

Tell us about the concept behind Forever Sports Middle East
Given the huge appetite for sport, both locally and regionally, we saw an opportunity to provide advertisers and agencies with a platform from which to reach the already vast, and still growing, demographic of sports mad men living across the Middle East, who play and watch sport on a regular basis.

What made you decide to launch Forever Sports Middle East?
Basically the lack of anything like Forever Sports in the region. Whilst specialist sports magazines do very well in the UAE, there is nothing monthly on the market to cater for the needs of men who are active, extremely image-conscious, into gadgets and love fashion. Forever Sports Middle East aims to fill that gap with great editorial, which we believe will offer direct advertisers and media agencies the right environment to reach their target audience, through the longevity of a monthly sports and lifestyle magazine. 

What are the main features of the magazine?
Sport is very clearly the main driver, but not the analysis of sport. Our aim is to be ‘The Insider Guide To Sport’ – asking questions and uncovering the personal thoughts and views of sports stars, through engaging and cutting-edge articles. The magazine also features extensive fashion and grooming sections, both of which play a key role in the modern man’s arsenal here in the Middle East, where fitness and body image are vitally important, both socially and professionally. 

Will Forever Sports Middle East be available online, or exclusively as a print publication?
We are working with our partners in the UK to bring the Forever Sports website to the region and we expect this to be concluded in the near future, so more exciting options are ahead for both our readers and advertisers. 

What makes Forever Sports Middle East unique as a publication?
We have followed Haymarket’s business model in the UK. Our success will come from placing our publication where men actually shop for sports equipment – such as retail outlets and superstores – where it’s available on the counters for impulse purchasing, just as we have seen in the UK where Forever Sports is one of the leading men’s magazines in the market. It’s also available in the places our audience actually hangs out, such as sports bars and clubs, as well as at both Dubai International Airport and Etihad First and Business Class lounges.

From an advertiser’s perspective, our in-store model is extremely valuable as it is highly targeted and offers zero wastage. It’s something that we’re delighted to have been able to secure as we won’t be fighting for attention on the newsstand, meaning many more eyeballs on Forever Sports Middle East than on our competitors publications combined, and visibility is the key to our success.

How can PRs get involved with Forever Sports Middle East?
We’d love to hear from anyone looking to engage with our audience, such as advertisers or PR agencies. Given the broad range of content we provide each month, it’s a great opportunity for brands, both directly or indirectly associated with sports, to reach an audience who are active, brand aware, image conscious and have large disposable incomes, mainly spent on themselves. Whilst we will be proactively speaking with PR Agencies, we would also encourage them to get in touch and be a part of the magazine. 

Will you be working with one dedicated editorial team, or will there be opportunities for freelancers?
As with all licensed magazines, we have the option to “pick up” editorial content from sister publications around the world. We already have a great team in place with some amazing contacts in their phones, from professional footballers, cricketers and golfers to boxers and Olympians. That being said, if you have an interest in sports, fashion, technology, music, grooming or fitness and you think you can add something into the mix then drop us a line – as the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained! 

How do you think Forever Sports Middle East can be developed in the future – do you have any plans for expansion?
As it stands, we are available across the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Plans are currently in place to expand the network to reach Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Jordan, and these will be finalised in the latter half of 2016/early 2017.