SBC Media set to catch wave

Snowboarding's got a market here. Skateboarding too. And when you've got healthy mags serving both of the action lifestyle sports, why not target surfing in Canada as well?

Toronto-based action sports and lifestyles publisher SBC Media is preparing for a March 2007 launch of Canada’s first national surfing title, SBC Surf. It will launch as a twice-per-year publication and advertisers are already flocking to fill the 200-page mag. More than 50,000 copies of the first issue will hit about 4,000 newstand outlets and close to 600 specialty action sport retail outlets across Canada. Banner ad opps will be available on the accompanying website and sponsors will also be offered integration deals at events tied to the magazine.

Advertisers, some aligned with SBC’s other boarding titles, that have signed on for the print project include Quicksilver, Roxy, Billabong, Volcom, O’Neill, Oakley, Spy Eyewear, DC shoes and streetwear, Vans footwear and Rip Curl. SBC Media president and group publisher Steve Jarrett says, ‘There’s some strong surf lifestyle business being done in Canada. Our estimates are that it’s over $250 million. There’s a strong advertising-based business model for us to launch a magazine here.’

Participation in surfing culture is at an all-time high in Canada, as evidenced by the number of surf lifestyle-related brands hitting the retail scene (on top of the well-established West 49, brands like Quicksilver, Billabong and Ron Jon have touched down with signature stores in Canada). The sport itself has a following on both coasts, but an element also exists inland with smaller associations of river surfers. While regional surf-related mags have popped up on the west and east coasts, SBC Surf will be the first national title to serve the culture, to Jarrett’s knowledge.

SBC Surf will be the company’s biggest magazine launch to date in terms of both page count and advertiser support, and the summer issue is slated for July.