Sport newspapers start agency trawl ahead of major revamp

Sport Media Group is seeking an agency to handle its media planning and buying ahead of a relaunch of the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport newspapers in April.

The group, which does not have a retained agency at present, is understood to have shortlisted three agencies and plans to make a decision next month. The review is being overseen by pitch consultants Britton McGrath.

Sport Media Group chief executive Andrew Fickling declined to confirm how much will be spent on marketing, but he says it will be a “full scale, above-the-line campaign” and it is also considering TV.

He adds: “We are finalising the budget at the moment, but it’s going to be significant. In the past, [under the old owner] it was never a company that ever really did any marketing. So this is a real step into the unknown.”

He says it is planning to launch the redesigned newspapers by April 21, which will be the second major phase in the company’s move to “overhaul” the image of the titles and appeal to readers of weekly men’s magazines, while attracting more mainstream advertisers.

Fickling says there will be “a complete overhaul” in the look of the papers as well as the tone.

Last year, the publisher appointed Karmarama to handled its advertising business and the agency is working on a major ad campaign to promote the newspapers once their new designs are unveiled.

The redesign will follow the radical changes it plans to make in its advertising strategy, announced earlier this week (MW.co.uk, February 25). As part of the changes, from March 3, adult advertising will be pushed further away from the front of its newspapers to make way for more mainstream clients.

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