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MediaTel Staff 

Goal First Issue Report & Football Mags Round Up

IPC's new football magazine Goal hits the newsstands this week. It has an initial print run of 100,000 and a guaranteed circulation of 50,000. The first issue is 132 pages long with a glossy cover and is available for an introductory price of £1 with a normal retail price of £2.25.

Goal's first issue has an interview with Newcastle's £6 million striker Les Ferdinand, a backstage look at Birmingham City football club, a feature on footballers' homes, an interview with Everton manager Joe Royle and a chance to win a trip to Prague in the Goal pub quiz. Regular features include a letters page, The Best Of... where each month a different football manager comes up with a list of the best players he's ever seen, a Q&A session with a different football player, Goalfest a round-up of the past month's footballing stories and a regular article from 'Fantasy Football' presenter Frank Skinner.

The overall feel of the magazine is that of light-hearted humour with the articles being well written and informative. The pages look well designed and brightly coloured. Goal is aimed at 18-35 year old men, an area of the football market that has seen a sizable increase in titles over the last few years. Of the 132 pages 26 are given over to advertising; this is an editorial:ad ratio of 80:20. Main display advertisers include Newcastle Brown Ale, Nike, Reebok, JD Sports and Umbro.

The number of football magazines on the market stands at 11, with IPC dominating the market with 5 titles. There have been 4 additions to the market since May last year - with all of these aimed at an older audience than Shoot or Match, which have the largest circulations.

Publisher No. of Titles Tot Circ (J-Jan95) % Share
IPC 5 478,782* 45%
EMAP 1 165,625 9%
Other 4 447,666@ 45%

* includes initial print run for Goal @ includes publisher's statement for Football Monthly & intial print run for Total Football

Year on year figures show that IPC's Soccerstars has made the biggest improvement in its circulation figures up from 85,746 to 107,357, an increase of 21,611 and a percentage increase of 25.2%. At the other end of the scale When Saturday Comes has suffered the largest decrease in circulation down from 37,829 to 34,949; a decrease of 2,880 and a percentage fall of 7.61%

ABC Circulation Jan-Jun 94 Jan-Jun 95 % Change Actual Change
Soccerstars 85,746 107,357 25.2 21,611
Match 137,622 165,625 20.34 28,003
Shoot 143,737 145,908 1.51 2,171
World Soccer 55,623 54,828 -1.42 -795
90 Minutes 73,959 70,689 -4.42 -3,270
When Saturday Comes 37,829 34,949 -7.61 -2,880

Only two of the above titles report on the NRS, Match and Shoot, the two titles with the biggest circulation figures. Match has recorded an increase in its 6-monthly and annual readership, while Shoot has recorded decreases in both its 6-monthly and annual figures.

NRS Readership Period Length J-Jun 94 J-Jun 95 %Ch Actual Ch
Match 12 442,000 463,000 4.75 21,000
Match 6 454,000 458,000 0.88 4,000
Shoot 12 558,000 527,000 -5.55 -31,000
Shoot 6 591,000 504,000 -14.78 -87,000

Readership Profile: Adults/Age/Percent

Age Profile(NRS) 15-17 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
UK Population 4 12 20 17 16 12 20
Match 33 20 17 20 8 1 1
Shoot 32 20 13 23 7 3 1

The older aimed magazines such as Goal, FourFourTwo and Total Football do vary from the younger aimed magazines like Match and Shoot, although not much from each other. All of the older aimed and more pricier magazines have hard glossy, perfect bound A4 covers; they are also very light-hearted in their round-ups of footballing news although they do have some very well written and researched stories of past footballing events and interviews with footballing personalities. The younger magazines are also A4 sized although their covers are flimsy and not as sharply set out. The feel of these magazines is that they are not as slick or sharp as the older magazines, and they seem more of a footballing equivalent of Smash Hits, with posters and gossip.

The majority of advertising in the magazines is display although Goal, Football Monthly, FourFourTwo, World Soccer, Match and 90 Minutes do have some classified pages. Most ads are single page, although FourFourTwo and Total Football both have double page spreads from Vauxhall. The advertisers for the magazines are fairly well spread. Lloyds Bank appears most, in Shoot, WSC, World Soccer, Match and 90 minutes,

Title Publisher No./Pages Cvr Price Ad:Ed Ratio
Goal IPC 132 225p 18:82
Shoot IPC 48 75p 25:75
90 Minutes IPC 48 80p 23:77
World Soccer IPC 76 200p 10:90
Match EMAP 64 75p 26:74
FourFourTwo Haymarket 132 225p 24:76
Total Football Future 100 225p 15:85
Football Monthly F'ball Monthly Ltd 48 175p 15:85
WSC WSC Ltd 48 140p 15:85
Sweet FA It's In The Bag Ltd 52 99p 2:98

(Note: IPC's Soccerstars unavailable for review)

All figures are based on copies of the magazines published w/c 4/9/95

Goal: Ad managers are Julian Clarke & Keamus Setna :Tel 0171 261 5499/6784

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