Publisher Source Interlink adds marketing vet
Special interest media giant Source Interlink Media LLC’s Action Sports Group (ASG)/Grind Networks has brought on an industry veteran as its new director of marketing, according to Transworld Business
In his new capacity, former Transworld Skateboarding Publisher Jamey Stone will oversee the San Clamente, Calif.-based segment’s marketing and business development.
“We are thrilled to add someone of Jamey’s caliber to our team,” Norb Garrett, senior VP and group publisher of the Action Sports and Recreation Group, said in a prepared statement. “His creativity, knowledge of the marketplace and success in marketing multimedia platforms fits perfectly with our ongoing efforts to create the leading action sports media business in the world.”
Reaching millions of action sports enthusiasts, ASG/Grind Networks publishes leading lifestyle titles like Surfer, Snowboarder, Power and Canoe & Kayak.
In October, Source Interlink Media acquired Grind Networks, a provider of online action and entertainment content. Together, Grind Networks and Action Sports Group reach more than 10 million fans every month.
With more than 70 publications, 90 Web sites, 400 branded products and 65 events, Source Interlink Media, a subsidiary of Source Interlink Companies Inc., is the largest provider of content to communities interested in automotive, action sports, marine and other niche activities. Some of the company’s other popular titles include Motor Trend, Automobile and Sail.
Garrett told WinmoEdge that ASG/Grind Networks
brought on Stone – a position that the company has lacked for the last four or five years – because of his vast experience; connections within the industry; and success in expanding upon marketing initiatives in the action sports space.
“We are deepening our media offerings, so it’s imperative that we bring on somebody with a deep background to package those assets together in marketing programs and initiatives,” he added. “Jamey is the right guy for that.”
Long-term, Stone will work to expand ASG/Grind Network’s reach on- and off-line among consumers, while his short-term priority, among many projects, is Skateboarder magazine’s repositioning efforts, which includes transitioning to an over-sized format.
As director of marketing, Stone’s efforts will also include working with advertisers and marketers to better reach their intended audiences.
“It’s important to understand that he’ll be serving these two primary constituencies,” Garrett stated. “He’ll find ways to turn consumers on through marketing initiatives whether it’s through grassroots, touch points, events or new product initiatives, but it’s just as important to work with marketers and companies in the non-endemic space that are very keen on reaching this set of influencers – our readers. This will be a major priority of his.”
ASG/Grind Networks reaches a wide array of winter and summer sports enthusiasts, but it finds that it primarily serves 18-to-34-year-old and 24-to-35-year-old segments
“We think about teen influences, especially with the skate and surf titles, but we also spread to the 24-to-35-year-old readers and even upwards to 45-year-olds with our kayak, bicycling and surfing titles,” Garrett stated. “We have the ability to target a very active, very engaged, very authentic audience through our properties whether it’s mobile, print or Web. It’s important to be able to package that story and makes for a better opportunity for advertisers to reach that market.”
He added that managing this authentic messaging is a tricky slope, as ASG/Grind Networks’ audience counts on the company to properly vet brands and messaging before it reaches them.
“We know this audience because we are that audience,” our source said. “Our staff came from these genres and specializes in forming a real and authentic way to talk with these consumer bases. We look at this messaging through our own products and help advertisers match their messaging to these audiences.”
One of the publisher’s top priorities is expanding its mobile presence, an area that it already has conducted qualitative work on.
“At this point, it’s a major push in growing relationships with our more youthful brands through immediate hits whether they come from video or click information about a surf break or surf info,” Garrett acknowledged. “We want to more quickly to deliver our brands into people’s hands. That’s one major reason why we acquired Grind. It gives us more capacity and bandwidth for those types of strategies.”
Through ASG/Grind Networks is well-known among action sports enthusiasts, our source reiterated that it’s important to constantly keep marketing to ensure the brands’ connection with consumers.
“It’s critically important to participate at grassroots and touch point events that help us connect with our audiences, so we’re at every single opportunity that we get,” Garrett continued. “This includes everything from the (Powder magazine’s) Powder to the People tour, or it can be as simple as working with one of our brand partners like Billabong or Volcom and doing some sort of in-store event. We want to constantly market our brands to continue to be top of mind. This is critical.”
ASG/Grind Networks works with several agencies that represent brand partners, in addition to firms that help market its own publications.
“We do get a lot of both client and agency requests to help craft targeted messages to consumers,” our source said. “This is one of Jamey’s areas of expertise. Brands have come to trust his insight of where they should be positioned.”
The List Database was unable to confirm which agencies Source Interlink Media currently works with.
The Nielsen Company reported that Source Interlink Media spent $650,000 on measured media in 2009. About $320,000 went towards national magazine ads, while about $110,000 was spent on both spot radio ads and spot television ads.
Source Interlink Media
236 Avenida Fabricante
San Clemente, CA 92672
Director, Marketing – Action Sports & Recreation Group
Senior Vice President & Group Publisher – Action Sports & Recreation Group