Lenny Dykstra, baseball player turned financial analyst, is now adding another title to his resume: Publisher. He's coming out with a magazine called The Players Club in conjunction with Doubledown Media, publisher of Trader Monthly.
It promises to be a monthly business and lifestyle glossy for athletes. The circulation will only be 20,000, but the magazine press release says it will wind up in the locker rooms of the major professional sports.
When this idea first hit a couple years ago, I thought it was tremendous. It's basically, a play on an old game. Niche publication gets into the right audience. Pays for itself and earns a profit from advertisers who covet the market.
But this marketplace is challenged. First, Dykstra is hardly the initial mover in this field. The "original" magazine of this type was called Moves and it was founded by a former agent named Scott Helfand, four years ago. It remains a quarterly publication to this day.
In 2004, pro football player Ryan McNeil came out with his own high-end mag called OverTime. I haven't seen it around in a while, but the OverTime web site still has articles from 2004 and 2005 on itshome page.
The second issue is depth of advertisers. Sure, there's a high end market that can speak to these athletes. Dykstra has already secured Mercedes-Benz and AIG, the press release boasts. And there surely are big premium brands in cars and watches that are even too expensive for the Robb Report that might want to advertise here.
The problem might lie in paging through Moves Magazine, which I just did online. Among those car and watch ads are tons of spanking new real estate opportunities. Here's hoping Dykstra isn't banking on those those real estate firms to be around in the same mass when his publication roles around next April.
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