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Authentic Branding: Start Your Own Magazine!

When we hear the name Champs Sports, we think of the chain store we visit whenever we need to buy a sweatband for our Sunday kickball league game (just kidding, we’re not that bad). At any rate, we certainly don’t think of “exclusive” original content. Yet the company thought enough of the potential value of branded media to create its own free “interactive magazine”, complete with the tell-me-you’re-joking name Stylish Ways to Acquire Game, or SWAG.

This week the company released the second edition of its experiment in editorial branding—and the mag (available on iPad or Android) does indeed feature interviews with some big names like LeBron James, rapper 2 Chainz and Gary Busey (how is he still around?!?), all of whom are eager to spread their own brands around the digital space.

So where does the revenue come from? We thought you’d never ask. The magazine is an app, so of course it includes a “click-to-purchase function” that allows readers to buy pretty much every single item in the issue. (Wonder how much we’d have to pay to rent Gary Busey by the hour?)

SWAG is, at the very least, an interesting study in multimedia branding. Everyone benefits: the chain store, the stars, the crews who made the videos and the brands with featured products. This is the first completely free interactive digital magazine that we’ve encountered, but please feel free to provide other examples if we’ve missed them.

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