The Sportstar is now Sportstar, and is snazzier, more vibrant and hotter. The magazine was re-launched at an event in Chennai on Wednesday, and will now be priced at Rs 8 per issue.
A brief audio-visual chronicling The Hindu group’s association with sports journalism set the tone for a memorable evening in the presence of several ‘sport’ stars. Kapil Dev released the first copy of the new Sportstar, and receiving it were sprint queen P T Usha and tennis ace Ramesh Krishnan.
N Ram, Editor-in-Chief of Sportstar, in his preliminary remarks, said, “In today’s multimedia world, the flow of information is increasingly fragmented, and tastes and priorities are increasingly different. In India, too, mass television and the fast growing Internet have made a tremendous difference.”
He explained that the changes in text, design and graphics, and the size of the pages (the weekly is now presented in a tabloid format), would help make Sportstar more current, vibrant, varied, informative and insightful for the reader. With the magazine being more exciting, elegant and sporty, it also presented more opportunities for advertisers, he added.
Dr Mario Garcia, the man behind the new look, made a brief presentation. In good news for print fans, he quoted some interesting research insights: while reading on the Internet was being considered ‘work’, reading a hard copy was being viewed as a ‘pleasure’ activity.
“The New York Times refers to a lot of us as the culture of the ‘always on’. The challenge is to retain the attention of people who think fast, absorb fast, are often exposed to more than one media simultaneously, and surrounded by several media all the time. We have to create the magic to lure the reader to the magazine. That will also mean a tougher job for editors, and we will increasingly see a demand for better editors, better writers,” said Garcia.
The fonts have been reworked, and now the weekly will draw from the Fairplex and Stainless families. While Fairplex has been employed for its youthful and inviting visage, Stainless has been chosen for its ease of reading.
A host of new editorial features, including a monthly column by soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer, a weekly round up of the premiership, regional sports updates, and an instructional column by Ramesh Krishnan.
Kapil Dev, who admitted to having had more issues of The Sportstar than books, expressed the hope that the revamped Sportstar would carry on the tradition of good writing, with fresh ideas. P T Usha’s wish list was simple – two pages dedicated to athletics.
Sportstar will now sport a navigation system on the cover, and a colour navigation system, in case the reader doesn’t have too much time. A mix of large and small images is another new feature. While the changes were in tune with making the weekly more contemporary, Sportstar would retain its core values, reminded N Ram.
Broadly, a brand ‘new look at sport’, with the core values of The Sportstar, is what is being promised. From the first issue, we gather that the promises have been kept.