TORONTO — Any attempt to launch a national all-sports magazine will inevitably draw comparisons to the glossy institution fans read growing up, but Editor-in-Chief Steve Maich admits those comparisons will in fact show how unique and necessary Sportsnet Magazine will be to Canadians.
“I grew up reading Sports Illustrated, but the longer you read the more you realize it is like a conversation you are listening in to with Americans speaking to Americans,” Maich told sportsnet.ca. “People who are icons to Canadians are not icons in the U.S”
On Monday it was announced the magazine will also benefit from having Canada’s most-known and respected sports journalist Stephen Brunt writing the back page for each edition of Sportsnet Magazine. Brunt is exclusive to Sportsnet, leaving behind a celebrated three decades of writing for the Globe & Mail.
The first edition of Sportsnet magazine will target the icons most near and dear to the collective hearts of Canadians: hockey players. Thursday’s launch include a 35-page National Hockey League season preview, a feature story written by sportsnet.ca senior columnist Mark Spector that takes readers inside the Canucks’ dressing room after the crushing Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins last spring and a cover story by Gare Joyce on the future of Sidney Crosby.
The first edition will also include a Major League Baseball post-season preview compiled by sportsnet.ca baseball insider Shi Davidi and an exclusive sit down with Canadian basketball phenom Tristan Thompson, written by Michael Grange.
“The voice of Sportsnet Magazine will be more like a choir; it will pull together a whole different group of voices and create a sound. When you use those voices wisely, it’ll be a sound that people love and is unlike anything they’ve read.”
The Canadian sports landscape has been without a home for long read sports stories for too long, and the magazine will fill the void while meshing great stories with great writing. The first issue will showcase those traits with an investigative look at the story behind the sudden and tragic death of National Hockey League enforcer Derek Boogaard.
“What magazines are good at beyond any other platform in the depth and analysis and storytelling,” Maich explained. “It’s not a passive medium; it demands your full attention. Sport is such an emotional experience and the magazine will tap in to that emotion.”
Sportsnet Magazine will be a bi-weekly offering and hits newsstands Thursday from coast-to-coast. There will also be a digital iPad offering for subscribers and plenty of extra content available on Sportsnet.ca – including the recently launched ‘Aftershow’ blog where readers can read additional features and videos connected to the stories published in the magazine.
“One of the things we want to achieve is to make Sportsnet Magazine feel like unlike anything else out there. People are going to draw comparisons and ask, ‘Is it going to be like SI for Canadians?’ or ‘Will it be the Macleans of sports? I keep saying, ‘Neither.’