The Sunday Times has signed up Renault as the first title sponsor of the newspaper’s new CD-ROM initiative The Month, which launches on August 31.
The disc will include information on and trailers for forthcoming films, samples from CD realeases and news on computer games and events listings. The Month will appear in a specially designed CD wallet within the Sunday Times Magazine polybag on the last Sunday of every month.
The Sunday Times will not reveal the cost of sponsorship, but its headline packages are believed to cost about £250,000.
There are also individual “channel” sponsors for sections including film, music, games and TV/DVD, which are thought to have paid up to £50,000 each. The sponsors for the debut disc include Barbie, BT Broadband, Radisson Edwardian Hotels, Sky Sports, Warner Village Cinemas and Xbox.
The newspaper has invested £10m in developing The Month and will be allocating a “significant” part of the investment towards marketing, with regular television and outdoor activity.
The initiative is designed to increase the number of younger readers and to provide a new platform for advertisers. Marketing director Andrew Mullins says: “Entertainment is especially important to those readers who have been brought up using computers.”
The Sunday Times saw a circulation drop of 3.93 per cent in average net circulation to 1,322, 293 for July on June (Audit Bureau of Circulations). Average net circulation for the six month period from February to July was down 2.33 per cent year on year, to 1,372,747.