'Sporting News' taps Ketchum for greater awareness

NEW YORK: The Sporting News (TSN), the 119-year-old sports multimedia brand, has selected Ketchum as its AOR, replacing Four Corners Communications.

NEW YORK: The Sporting News (TSN), the 119-year-old sports multimedia brand, has selected Ketchum as its AOR, replacing Four Corners Communications.

The agency will work to raise visibility for the company's magazine, Web site, radio network, and books division, as well as corporate. Billings were undisclosed.

"We feel we needed a resource with greater capabilities and a stronger understanding of our business of sports in general," said Stuart Marvin, VP of marketing and promotion for TSN. "We're trying to elevate the awareness and stature of our brand. We compete with some formidable competition with deeper pockets than us."

Marvin noted that reaching key business decision makers, through business and trade press is a high priority. "Most people haven't kept abreast of the evolution of our brand," he said. "They think of us as an old traditional newspaper. We've evolved considerably.

One of the key messages to get out from a business and trade standpoint is the level of involvement people have with the TSN brand. "We're catering to a more serious sports enthusiast," he said. "These are not the casual fans, these are guys that live and breathe sports on a daily basis."

"Sporting News has an amazing story," added Nick Ragone, SVP and director of Ketchum's NY Communications Media Strategy Network. "Their message is that they have the most devoted, passionate, smart sports fans out there. Getting that message through the clutter of ESPN and Sports Illustrated is a challenge."

From a corporate standpoint, Ragone said Ketchum is already working to push CEO Rick Allen out to such business media outlets as MarketWatch TV. The agency is also targeting media writers at publications such as The Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek.

Ketchum will also help promote several of TSN's special issues. The agency recently helped organize an on-field event at a Chicago White Sox game involving the city's mayor Richard Daley, Allen, and representatives from Chicago's major sports teams to promote a TSN issue naming Chicago the best sports city in the country.

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