As today’s media landscape continues to evolve, media groups must remain ambitious. As CEO of Ballantine Communications, Inc., nestled in the outdoor mecca of Durango, Colorado, my team and I found a media void in a place where you would expect it to be thriving, so we decided to act.
The annual booming $646 billion outdoor industry continues to grow and its audience is eager to learn, and even more eager to travel for their recreation. Market studies detail that for every dollar spent on outdoor equipment, four more are spent on travel and related needs. It is a broad group, male and female, ages 20-50 and beyond with a variety of interests. And we know how to reach them.
Today, BCI is aiming to be a basecamp for major online and regional outdoor media projects. Our Adventure Pro brand, an online website and now a print magazine, begins with the greater Southwest itself, a landscape of mountains and deserts, canyons and plateaus filled with renowned athletes and everyday explorers alike. With Adventure Pro, we embrace the huge world of outdoor recreation in a voice that aims to inspire our audience.
Our flagship website also aims to set itself apart with a vast amount of video-driven content. AdventurePro.us is composed of feature stories, tips and educational segments on equipment, how-tos, as well as travel pieces including après activity. We introduce something, whether sport or place, and dive right into where to get started.
Our newest entry in support of digital content is Adventure Pro Magazine, which will not only be an extension of the website experience, but will also stand alone as an engaging outdoor periodical. It will serve to redirect readers to the website so they can continue their experience. For every feature in the magazine, there is an elaboration of that content online.
Widely distributed, 20,000 copies will hit Northern New Mexico, Southeastern Utah and all along Colorado’s Western Slope. The quarterly magazine will celebrate each season and its unique recreational opportunities. Our carriers will stock strategic and highly visible places – restaurants, shops, cafes and hotels – in destinations synonymous with adventure: Moab, Utah; Taos, New Mexico; Pagosa Springs, Durango, Telluride and Grand Junction, Colorado.
At BCI, a content and video production team, a sales and marketing team and development team all work together to produce and promote Adventure Pro. For the esoteric realm of outdoor adventure, we’ve recognized a crucial need for a high level of expertise and an alternative skillset, so we built a staff accordingly to reflect the assorted audience we attract.
Editor Brandon Mathis comes with 25 years of extensive outdoor experience and training, and a history in news media and storytelling. Mathis has a keen understanding of the culture and is himself a prime example of our audience.
Today’s outdoor enthusiast isn’t just a hiker or just a skier. They are hikers aspiring to ski and trail runners aspiring to mountain bike. They love to research online and educate themselves, from the latest performance wear to the best place for a breakfast on their weekend getaway. They want a little of everything. To them it’s all a lifestyle, not a weekend hobby.
The audience we are pursuing understands the sports we cover but wants to feel they are learning more than the basics. Our goal is to give novices enough information to make decisions about pursuit, and intermediate to experts those tips and information to help them better enjoy their adventure. This content is driven to deliver to people who want the most out of their passion.
We are also partnering with core outdoor businesses that share and reflect our brand’s values. Our supporters are niche retailers, gear supply shops, trending dining and social establishments, craft breweries and professional guide services. In addition to traditional advertising, we offer product placement, native content and digital and print packages, expanding our supporters’ marketing strategies.
The advertisers have also helped in driving our decision to add a print component to our offerings. In discussions with the different advertisers, they pushed the case that print still had a place in the mix due to the various locations many of the audience would consume content. Coffee shops, brewpubs and remote locations all still had strong print consumers not to mention a limitation with internet access in many locations. Thus they believed print and digital working in concert continues to make sense.
Our online presence is evergreen, immediately available and device-responsive as AdventurePro.us updates several times every week with new content. Our social media outlets, like Facebook and Instagram, have a growing audience, and we are developing new ways to engage them, even repurposing viewer-submitted social media content onto the print platform, making our own audience part of the content itself.
There is incredible potential to expand, with opportunities to push into an even broader geographic area. We have put tremendous efforts into our digital product, and now will grow our audience online by building a highly-visible print product as much for aspiring audiences as for seasoned experts.
This is an exciting time in media, and we see a turning point. Platform agnosticism used to be a battle cry. But the reality is that it’s not a platform, it’s the content.
Our audience is involved in these adventures, and in many cases they are in remote locations pursuing their passions. Given that, it makes perfect sense to give our consumers a great experience in digital and print.