How nextmedia’s Inside Sport helps readers discover more sports

“The magazine has had a reputation for being an outlet for sports that get less attention”

Sports coverage in the media centres around AFL, NRL, cricket, soccer and tennis. But where the mainstream media falls short of covering other sports, nextmedia’s monthly title Inside Sport steps in. Steering the brand for the past year has been managing editor Jeff Centenera.

“The magazine has had a reputation for being an outlet for sports that get less attention. It does them justice,” Centenera told Mediaweek. Some such sports listed by Centenera include actions sports, triathlon and basketball.

The fact that these sports aren’t covered as much in mainstream media works to Inside Sport’s advantage.

“With the demand on high-profile sports, access is quite hard,” Centenera said. “You talk to some of the veteran sports writers and some of the things they were able to do in the old days to get stories [are amazing]. Now, you could only wish that you got the access that those guys used to get.

“A lot of the minor sports are very forthcoming though. They want to get themselves out there. The media environment now makes it easier for even a minor sport to reach the people who are really interested in it.

“For example, if someone is interested in roller derby or Ultimate Frisbee – something really minor like that – there are websites, blogs, social media accounts and so forth that are devoted to these particular pursuits.

“It is good that we can get a fairly rich picture of these minor sports, but at the same time there is always a question of how much do you treat them as novelty?

“I look at the old editions of our magazine – we date back to 1991 – and you can see some of the ways that sports were covered then. It was the only mainstream coverage minor sports were getting – they weren’t getting it in any other place. It’s interesting how that dynamic works these days.”

The popularity of what Centenera labelled as mainstream sports like NRL, AFL and cricket means that more people are likely to pick up a copy of the magazine, or click on the articles that are about these sports. The sports that belong in the “minor” or the niche category were defined by the managing editor of Inside Sport as those that have a small following or appeal to people’s special interests.

Allotting time, energy and space to niche sports can be a gamble when it comes to the returns, Centenera said.

This is an excerpt of the full article, which appears in the latest issue of Mediaweek magazine. 

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