Aside from the business-related ones, I subscribe to only two magazines: Men’s Health and Sports Illustrated. Despite the rise of blogging and up-to-the-second sports updates, SI has been able to adjust their philosophy and remain a must read every week for any sports fan. The photography by the best photographers in the world is jaw-dropping, and the writing by the best writers in the industry reads more like a bunch of sports novels and less like a news magazine.
However, I’m pretty disappointed in how they market their “free gifts” on TV. Anyone who has turned on ESPN the last few weeks has seen this presumably sweet offer for Red Sox fans: subscribe to SI and get a free hard-cover commemorative World Series book, Official 2007 World Series DVD, and Championship Baseball Set. Any Sox fan would be crazy NOT to consider getting a subscription. It’s worth it alone for the free gifts…or is it?
Mike is a HUGE Red Sox fan, so he signed on to buy the pack. I said “cool, what’s it like $50?” I knew my subscription was somewhere in that vicinity. He tells me it’s $89.04 for 56 issues.
I thought to myself “damn, has the price of SI gone up without me realizing it.” Nope. A regular subscription costs $39.00 for 56 issues.
How nice of SI to charge you $50.07 for your “free” book, DVD, and baseballs! Seriously, I expect more from one of the great American sports magazines. They do theses “offers” every time a team wins a championship, and presumably they make a KILLING and also get subscribers to their magazine that’ll probably continue on with them for years. What they should do is include a smaller bonus item for FREE (that means it’s included with the $39 subscription) and then offer the other items only to subscribers for an extra $20/$30/$40. At least then they aren’t tricking people into subscribing. What ever happened to giving up something to get something? That’s how good promotions work…isn’t it? They give you a free gift, and in return they get a subscriber that will pay subscription fees (presumably for more than a year) and add another number to their subscription totals so they can jack up advertising, which is where they make their money anyway.
I’m very, very disappointed in you Sports Illustrated.