SBJ/October 29 - November 4, 2001/This Weeks Issue

Fan Guide files for Chapter 11

Fan Guide, the company that pioneered the use of controlled-circulation publications at sporting venues, has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in what the company said is another indication of the dismal state of the ad market.

In a filing with the Southern District Court of New York, the 4-year-old company listed liabilities of $4,957,537 and assets of $757,537 on gross revenue that grew from $50,000 in 1998 to a projected $1.5 million by the end of this year.

As a result of both the battered ad sales market and the general slowdown that followed the Sept. 11 attacks, estimates for fourth-quarter revenue were reduced to $500,000 from an earlier estimate of $2 million.

Fan Guide's business was based on the Playbill model of distributing free program-like guides at sporting events to a much larger ad base than normally buys game scorecards or programs.

In its filing, the company notes "the universe of attendees at live sporting events in the U.S. is actually four times greater than the attendance at all cultural events, including theater."

As a result, the company believes circulation agreements with properties that include the Big East, MLB, Atlantic Coast Conference, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, National Thoroughbred Racing Association and National Hot Rod Association would eventually allow its business to be viable.

The company has closed its New York City offices and consolidated to its Red Bank, N.J., location. Salaries of the remaining employees have been frozen or reduced.

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