Bonnier Corp. and the UFC have announced an agreement for Bonnier to begin producing the mixed martial arts organization’s official magazine, which launched in 2009. The first issue of UFC Magazine published under Bonnier will be available on Dec. 27 and will include a 2012 annual preview.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this new agreement with Bonnier,” said Bryan Johnston, chief marketing officer for the UFC. “Our past partnership with Bonnier’s TransWorld titles have been such a success, it makes perfect sense to extend the relationship out through its parent company based in Stockholm, Sweden. The team at Bonnier is on par with our mission to grow this sport and they understand our commitment to social media and technology. With the ability to reach readers in 17 countries, Bonnier will help grow the UFC’s global distribution by utilizing its successful Mag+ tablet platform and long-standing history in publishing.”
Bonnier has become an industry pioneer for its approach to emerging digital platforms. Bonnier was one of the first to launch a magazine title on the iPad with Popular Science in April 2010 and has followed that up with aggressive R&D innovations.
“From my first introduction to Dana White and the UFC over two years ago, I was impressed by his passion for their sport and his company’s media prowess,” said TransWorld Media Group Publisher Liam Ferguson. “This partnership will leverage the strengths of our respective organizations to better serve our shared target demographic of young male enthusiasts, aged 16-34. I’m flattered that the UFC has chosen TransWorld, and our parent company Bonnier, as their partner to grow their print and digital magazine subscribers globally.”
Bonnier tapped Kelly, the editor who launched UFC Magazine for American Media, to return to his role as editor-in-chief. Kelly has left his position as editorial director at American Media to join Bonnier. He previously oversaw the editorial departments at UFC Magazine, Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness.
“UFC Magazine is a very special project for me and I’m very happy to return to the title,” Kelly said. “Bonnier’s position within the industry and publishing capabilities will allow us to execute our plans for improving the print product and expand to online. I can’t wait to fire up the tablet edition in 2012. And yes, to all the fans out there, we’re going to have subscriptions.”
Menkes, former publisher of UFC Magazine and Men’s Fitness, has also returned to the magazine as publisher. He has more than 13 years of media experience under his belt with top companies such as American Media, Dennis Publishing, Primedia and Mediavest.