© Copyright – 2013 – Athletics Illustrated
I started Athletics Illustrated in November 2011, fourteen months ago, on the notion that I will publish an online magazine that covers the sport of international athletics from a purely Canadian perspective, written in Canadian Style English. I didn’t realise at the time, the quantity of Canadian content that could be created, by investigating the sport domestically. Hence, the bulk of the content within the virtual pages of this online magazine is all about Canadians and Canada. Is the sport growing in Canada? I hope so!
So with that in mind, I quickly learned that editorial content, video interviews and race coverage will bring virtual reams of traffic. However, to continue to grow, so much more is needed, for example, same day results, race registration, a robust chat-line and business partners. Bring in Track and Field North, once Canada’s most visited running website.
Track and Field North, the Canadian affiliate of the 52-site MileSplit Network does everything Athletics Illustrated doesn’t do. Likewise the magazine format of Athletics Illustrated is everything that Track and Field North wasn’t trying to be. So we came to the realisation that a partnership would solve our differences and allow us to launch Canada’s most informative and perhaps entertaining website dedicated to covering the sport of athletics.
January 15th we agreed in principle to merge the two sites. Once the writ was dropped, Jason Byrne, CEO of MileSplit, set the wheels (and proverbial gerbils) in motion to bring the brand and format of Athletics Illustrated (name too) to MileSplit and Track and Field North’s brand will be absorbed, but their key ingredient, the popular chat-line will remain, as will employee number one co-owner Andrew Maloney (also a key ingredient).
The roles are defined as: Co-owner and Publisher Andrew Maloney and Christopher Kelsall, Co-owner and Editor. Marketing etcetera will be handled jointly.
The Announcement (is also on the homepage of Track and Field North):
Athletics Illustrated and TnfNorth are pleased to announce that on January 15, 2013 they have reached an agreement in principle to merge operations.
“This is a very exciting development from the perspective of covering track and field in Canada at the very highest level, “said Andrew Maloney, current editor of TnfNorth. “I cannot be more excited about what Chris Kelsall and Athletics Illustrated will bring to the table. I am excited about the possibilities that will arise from our coverage of the sport on a high level from coast to coast.”
“We are thrilled to work with Andrew and Chris on the merger of the two sites,” said Jason Byrne, the CEO of MileSplit. “Athletics Illustrated has clearly created a good product and brand and a history of quality feature stories on the sport’s top athletes and coaches. It will be great to see the two groups join forces under one banner and bring together that magazine-style quality, with the fast pace of keeping up with the latest news, rankings and results in Canadian Athletics.”
The newly combined site will remain as the Canadian affiliate on the MileSplit network under the name of Athletics Illustrated. Naming of the message board will remain TnfNorth. The content and site design will begin to change before the end of January and will be complete within the coming months.
“It is with enthusiasm that I enter into an agreement in principle to merge Athletics Illustrated with TnfNorth on the MileSplit Network,” said Chris Kelsall, the editor of Athletics Illustrated. “Re-branding TnfNorth into Athletics Illustrated, as a MileSplit affiliate while leveraging the current, loyal audience who frequent the TnfNorth website, to find informative editorial content, rankings, statistics, videos and race coverage from across the country, will greatly enhance the two website’s current offerings. And of course there is the TnfNorth message board that acts as a catalyst to bring together the running community – in a virtual manner – from across this vast country. We look forward to publishing Canada’s most informative online magazine, covering the sport of athletics by providing exclusive, thought-provoking and relevant editorial content with an eye on the international and Canadian running communities from a purely Canadian perspective.”
More details are to come regarding the merging of the two sites onto the MileSplit network in the next month. Stay tuned!