Football freebie set to launch

Open Goal, a football magazine to be distributed outside Premier League stadiums across England, is to become the latest free publication to hit the market.

Open Goal is offering premium advertisers guaranteed circulation of 250,000 copies each issue, and so joins Sport magazine and the recently launched ShortList as free magazines aimed squarely at the men’s market. It is not the first time that such a magazine has been aimed at the potentially lucrative market created around Premiership football: Free Kick magazine was launched in 2001 with a similar business plan, but failed to deliver the required revenues.

Since then, of course, attitudes towards free publications have been changed vastly.

The independently produced Open Goal will be a 48-page, glossy magazine published monthly from January and will be distributed outside Premier League grounds every week during the football season.

The title will be produced in a slimline A5 format that will fit into a pocket. A dummy issue can be viewed as an e-magazine at

Adidas and Reebok have been secured as advertisers for the initial print run.

The editorial team is being led by entrepreneur and founder Richard Stonehouse, who is backed by Newcastle-based investment group NStar.

The first trial issue of the magazine was carried out last Saturday (October 20) at the Arsenal v Bolton game at the Emirates Stadium.

A second run will be trialled this weekend when Manchester United play Middlesbrough at Old Trafford.

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