Media News: BMW to sponsor GQ Sport

BMW is extending its sports association by sponsoring GQ Sport, a new glossy magazine that will be distributed with the May and November issues of GQ.

The deal marks BMW's first magazine sponsorship, while the issues will coincide with the UK debut of the latest BMW 3-series saloons and touring models.

If GQ Sport is received well, BMW hopes to make the sponsorship a long-term agreement with the production of further issues in 2006 and beyond.

The 52-page magazine, edited by GQ editor Dylan Jones, includes contributions by AA Gill and Boris Johnson, and features on footballer Michael Owen, tennis star Roger Federer and the London 2012 bid.

GQ Sport's launch comes five years after the closure of GQ Active, a monthly paid-for title, covering sport and fitness. GQ publishing director Jamie Bill said the new magazine would be GQ's biggest promotion this year, and was aimed at encouraging trial. The sport theme stemmed from research that placed it at the top of GQ readers' interests.

'There is a misunderstanding of what GQ is among non-readers,' said Bill.

'It gets grouped with the lads' mags, so it is crucial that we get the magazine sampled.'

GQ Sport is only partly funded by BMW and will carry third-party advertising.

BMW advertising manager Suzanne Gray said 50,000 copies would be distributed at BMW-associated sports events. These include F1 meetings, the World Touring Car Championships and the PGA golf tournament, which is being rebranded as the BMW Championship.

Gray added that BMW's media sponsorship strategy was to develop new brands in partnership with media owners: 'We don't just want to slap the BMW brand on something already existing.'

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