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Paper adds to marketing mix

WANT to promote an event? Why not create a newspaper to sell the message.

This is not the usual approach to event promotion but it appears to have proved successful for the Antarctica Cup.

Former Interstruct managing director and Perth Wildcats owner Bob Williams is behind the open ocean yachting event that involves a race from Fremantle and a circum-navigation of Antarctica.

Mr Williams said he had decided to publish a newspaper to sell the event because it was a “very effective way of getting the message out to the community”.

The first issue of the Antarctica Cup News hit news-stands this month.

About 1,000 copies of the 10,000-15,000 print run have been sent around the globe. Some of those have been sent to Cowes in England, home of a prestigious ocean-racing event.

Copies are also being distributed to Australian yacht clubs or sold through newsagents.

“We could have used glossy brochures but it doesn’t have the same effect as a paper. A newspaper is a friendlier way,” Mr Williams said.

Resources Information Unit CEO Simon Hadfield is the paper’s publisher.

Mr Hadfield said he became involved because it was an interesting concept.

“There will be a lot of people involved in the race. I thought there would be enough spin-off to produce a publication,” he said. “We have our production team and sales staff, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch.”

Mr Hadfield said it was risk venture for his company, which is more closely tied to reporting on the resources industry. Indeed, he admits to not even being a very keen sailor.

“But we’ve had a fantastic response to it. People in the yachting world have been quite enthusiastic about it,” Mr Hadfield said.

“We’re trying to promote the event with the yachting fraternity and the corporate community.”

Besides the newspaper, the race concept has also attracted considerable television media interest.

Mr Williams said there had been interest from major inter-national production and broadcasting houses.

“We’re keeping our powder dry on that one,” he said.

Part of the concept involves Big Brother-esque cameras on each of the yachts to give viewers a feel for what conditions are like on the boats.

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