A new, modern SBJ, but mission remains the same
It’s a new era for Sports Business Journal, as this week’s issue debuts a bold, dynamic and enhanced reader experience. It looks and feels like an entirely different magazine, and we’re really excited to share it with you. The new format and content structure will enable us to engage and inform you more successfully, as SBJ remains the standard for sports business journalism. In fact, we believe this new look only reaffirms the editorial leadership we’ve established during the past 20 years.
Let’s start with our new logo, which capitalizes on the verbal shorthand the industry uses when referring to Sports Business Journal — simply, SBJ — while the font gives the logo a modern, sophisticated feel.
We’ve also created a new editorial structure and sequencing, and here’s what you can expect in each issue going forward.
Our front page will now have one main cover story driven by the authority in our reporting and writing. This allows for a cleaner, more impactful look, while maintaining space to highlight other key features to drive readers throughout the issue.
State of Play: Featured on the opening Page 3, State of Play is an easy, engaging entry point for readers. Through the use of infographics, quotes and stats, it provides a quick roundup of industry buzz and news hits. We believe this fun, breezy page will become a can’t-miss and cool weekly destination.
Forum: A counterpoint to State of Play, Forum is where my colleagues or I will set the tone for the issue, offer opinion or analysis. It will also feature our table of contents.
This format will maximize and amplify the stories and personalities in the sports industry.
UpFront: The week’s news stories and our staff columnists all sit within this important front section of the magazine. One main story opens the section, followed by other news stories, with sidebars, breakout boxes and infographics to balance the section and engage readers. To elevate the authority of our columnists, they will now appear under “The Insiders” moniker and close this section with their agenda-setting news and analysis. All the portraits were designed by award-winning illustrator Michael Hoeweler.
Portfolio: Following UpFront, our Portfolio section is designed to uncover the dynamic personalities of the industry, deliver engaging and authoritative lifestyle content, and celebrate the relationships that exist across sports. This section will allow for strong storytelling as well as fun, compelling features that will connect with readers.
Features/In-Depth: This section will include the behind-the-scenes features and editorial reporting that readers expect from SBJ, with a variety of design elements that work together to create comprehensive, multilayered features.
Closing Shot: While keeping with the new look, Closing Shot leverages our commitment to journalism to recap a key moment from the past week, or an important moment in sports business history, through a balance of words and pictures. We believe this also will become a popular destination page and a strong bookend to each week’s issue.
While we are introducing those new features, our current reader favorites like Faces & Places, Careers, Coast to Coast and Opinion will continue in their current form.
We are very excited by the reimagined look, as it is more contemporary, visually appealing, clean and engaging. This format will maximize and amplify the stories and personalities in the sports industry.
Stylistically, you will notice a change to make headlines cleaner, and to aid readability we opened the spacing slightly and included more white space in the layout.
After 20 years, we wanted to evolve as we inform, enlighten and entertain you. But what won’t change is our journalistic integrity and credibility, and we are not making any cuts to the depth or quality of our coverage.
So many people worked on this over the past year, but special thanks goes to American City Business Journals CEO Whitney Shaw and strategic adviser Andrew Siegel for pushing us to think differently. The project’s business leader, Leslie Farrand, put together a strong team of consultants who developed concepts and ideas for the changes. Special recognition goes to designer Jamie Prokell and editorial consultant Fiona Murray, as much of what you see is the result of their hard work and vision.
We hope the design inspires you — inspires you to spend more time with us and engage more deeply with our news and features.
So, check it out and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments as we evolve the SBJ brand and user experience for the next generation.
Abraham Madkour can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org