Cricket publisher stumps doubters in pitch to international audience

04/02/2003 - 21:00

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A CALCULATED gamble to establish a weekly newspaper for Australian cricket devotees has turned up trumps for niche market publisher International Publishing Group.

Cricket publisher stumps doubters in pitch to international audience

A CALCULATED gamble to establish a weekly newspaper for Australian cricket devotees has turned up trumps for niche market publisher International Publishing Group.

Just four months after the launch of Cricket Week – a 32-page tabloid style weekly produced in Rivervale – the company is planning to expand overseas and try its luck on the UK market.

Cricket Week editor Colin Bettles said the popularity of cricket in the UK was the prime motivator for the decision.

“They play so much cricket over there; we would plan to launch the publication in time with the start of the Australian test series in the Caribbean in April.”

Mr Bettles said the publication would be made UK friendly by changing the lead story and viewpoint of the articles.

The present mix of news and features would remain the same.

Cricket Week is Australia’s only weekly cricket paper and has gathered a loyal following of cricket fans in a short time, Mr Bettles said.

Cricket Week was inspired by the success of other Perth-based IPG publication, British Football Week, which was designed to cater for the reasonably large market of British expatriates living in Australia. The publication was launched onto the UK market last year.

Recognising that cricket was Australia’s most popular summer sport, IPG canvassed State cricket associations to test the water for interest in a cricket publication.

“The paper has been well received by everyone, the Australian Cricket Board as well as the players, it has captured everyone in the cricket world,” Mr Bettles said.

“I am absolutely ecstatic about the quality of the product.”

He said Perth was chosen as the paper’s production base because IPG already had an established office in Rivervale.

“Cricket Week is the first publication IPG has started from scratch so it made sense to locate the paper where they already had office space and equipment,” Mr Bettles said.

“We are also a fairly small and nimble team that doesn’t take up a lot of room.”

The company’s other Australian publications include Inside Football and Pro Basket-ball Today, both of which are produced on the east coast.

IPG publish 12 titles globally and has a national coverage of 5000 newsagents in Australia.

IPG publisher Philip Small said that last year the company had been listed in the BRW as the 75th fastest growing company in Australia.

“Being small we can jump in and grab new opportunities,” he said.

“We are an Internet-based company; if we want to go onto an overseas market we find a publisher and send the relevant pages off.

“Be it soccer, cricket or Aussie Rules, we can publish a paper that will tell you everything you wanted know about the sport.”

Mr Small said IPG was always looking for and receiving new proposals for niche market publications.

“We are a very dynamic company, hit and run, we grab opportunities all the time,” he said.

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