Sport Media Group is relaunching the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport next month in a bid to attract more mainstream advertisers. The changes, which will be introduced on March 3, will see adult advertising pushed away from the front of the newspapers.
The “structure” of the newspapers will be changed to create four new sections. The personal and contact ads will be moved to a pull-out supplement in the centre pages so the front is opened up to more mainstream advertisers. Meanwhile, the traditional adult ads will be move to the third section ahead of the sports section and its related ads.
The changes come ahead of a major redesign of the newspapers in April, which according to Andrew Fickling, Sport Media chief executive, will be a “complete overhaul”.
Fickling adds that the changes to its advertising strategy have been evolving over the past three to four months, and will be driven by its London-based sales house, Wardour Publishing and Design, which was appointed last month.
He says it is already seeing a rise in its advertising revenue, but would not be drawn on a figure. Brands that have recently started advertising in its papers include Ladbrokes, Setanta Sport and Dial a Phone.
Fickling says that the wider redesign of the papers, which will include changes to the editorial content, is expected to launch around April 21. Sport Media Group is hoping to change the image of its papers to appeal more to readers of the weekly men’s magazines such as Zoo and Nuts.
The changes are being led by Brian McIlheney, editor-in-chief, who previously oversaw the launch of Zoo while at Emap; and James Brown, consultant editor-in-chief, who was the founder of Loaded magazine.