We first noticed/heard about The Blizzard via our friend Dixie, who was beginning to stock the quarterly publication at his fab shop, Casa Rebelde, in Dublin. He suggested we contact the publishing manager to see if there was room for us to run an ad as they were attracting some real interest in the football community.
Looking at the background to the title, what first struck us was their interesting distribution model. They operate a pay-what-you-like system for their customers - though the RRP is £12.00 for hard copies, customers can pay anything from £6.00 to whatever they deem worthy and digital copies are available from 1p. Combining digital and hard copy sales, issue four will have a minimum circulation of 10,000 and depending on how things go it's quite possible this will go beyond 25,000. All of the ads are linked to the brand's website on the digital version and they tweet about advertisers too.
The Blizzard are by no means a conventional operation when it comes to advertising. They have no set rate-card. In their own words, ‘we thought we would let brands make us an offer on what they deem the exposure to be worth. Partly because it makes us a little different and partly because we didn't really have a clue how to value ad space’. They also commented on the goalsoul site ‘There’s some very nice, unusual stuff on there. At the risk of sounding a bit like a salesman I'd imagine it’s the type of gear our readership would be into.’
If we needed any more convincing, on 22nd March, they held a launch event for The Blizzard Issue 4 at Club Wembley in the North Stand at Wembley Stadium... and very kindly invited the goalsoul team along. Again in their words, ‘It’s in the poshest of posh bits, The Wembley Suite, where we'll have a drinks reception, a Q&A with some of our top writers followed by a tour of Wembley…’ We were in... and as the dress code was smart casual, it was a perfect excuse to throw a smart jacket over our favourite tees.
The drinks reception was 6:30pm. We arrived an hour early and decided to have a little wander around the stadium concourse to see what it was like without the crowds. Quite eerie... it was all a bit 'Clockwork Orange'. We half-expected McDowell and his Droogs to appear on some access stairway.
The hour-long Q&A kicked-off at 7pm. The event was filmed and covered live on Twitter. We were treated to a nice spread of nibbles and liquids, but one of the abiding memories of the evening were the gourmet mini pies! Astonishingly good. Rick would have happily foregone the Stadium tour for another couple of Chicken Balti pies.
We’d seen both names and faces of the four men on stage across Twitter and TV. Dave Farrar was in the David Dimbleby role and the panel featured Jonathan Wilson, Gabriele Marcotti and Philippe Auclair. All in all, a great way to spend a Thursday evening... and we even got our question put to the panel.
- March 30, 2012
- Rudi Boutinaud