Tracks’ last corporate wave: Surfers purchase iconic brand

German-owned publisher nextmedia divests another title

In the wake of its successful 50th-anniversary issue, Tracks magazine has been purchased by a co-op of surfers with a long-standing passion for the title. Peter Strain, David Mulham, Greg Cooper, Damian Martin and Luke Kennedy have acquired Tracks from nextmedia. The move sees the German-owned publisher divest another brand.

Co-owner Peter Strain emphasised he was looking forward to re-invigorating the surfing bible. “I’ve been a keen surfer and dedicated Tracks reader for decades. Tracks is more than just a magazine it’s a part of our history, and it has played an important role in shaping our cultural identity, not only as surfers but as Australians. We’re excited about exploring a range of new opportunities with the brand.” 

Arek Widawski, managing director of nextmedia commented, “We are delighted that Tracks has found the right home for its next chapter, allowing nextmedia to focus on other key brands.”

First published by John Witzig, Albe Falzon, and David Elfick in 1970. Tracks was later owned by a string of large publishing houses including Mason Stewart Publishing and Emap Australia.

The acquisition of Tracks by a quintet of surfers represents a return of the iconic title to its salty roots. While eager to celebrate the Tracks legacy and history, the new ownership group is also intent on re-launching the brand in what is a renaissance era for surfing. “So many of us have significant memories associated with Tracks. We want to continue that tradition,” explained Strain. “And it’s an exciting time for surf culture. Everyone’s back in the water and there’s never been so much curiosity about surfboards and different surfing experiences.”

Luke Kennedy and Ben Bugden will continue at the helm of the editorial team, while Damian Martin retains his role as head of advertising. “I’m looking forward to providing Tracks devotees and the next generation of readers with a dynamic, high-quality magazine that offers an immersive experience,” indicated Kennedy.

The title will continue to look to its stable of respected writers and photographers to engage, entertain and inform a contemporary audience.

Tracks is set to publish its first issue under new ownership in April 2021.

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