The brand journalnaut continues to accelerate with this latest innovation by ESPN: The Magazine (via Adweek).


ESPN: The Magazine Puts a Print Spin on Sponsored Content

Sidebars to feature advertiser’s logo

Branded content has gotten plenty of attention as it’s taken off online where the division between editorial and advertising real estate can be fuzzier (see: Forbes,The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Gawker), but publishers have shied away from using similar strategies in print. Now, ESPN: The Magazine is taking a page from electronic media by letting an advertiser incorporate its logo into editorial content.

Starting with the magazine’s 15th anniversary issue this week, ESPN will run an editorial sidebar bearing the words “Cold Hard Facts presented by Coors Light” at the top. The ESPN edit team will have full control over the sidebars; MillerCoors won’t have final approval or get to preview the content ahead of time, according to editor in chief Chad Millman.


Right. Raise your hand if you think ESPN will ever again have a bad word to say about Coors, Miller, or Chad Millman.

Us neither.


John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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