Shoot magazine has been covering football for over forty years. After first hitting UK news stands in 1969, Shoot went on to become one of the biggest and most influential football magazines in Britain, entertaining successive generations of fans with news and famous features such You Are The Ref and the famous League Ladders.
Today Shoot is still one of the most respected and widely read footy publications in the UK. It has successfully moved into the digital age by becoming the first football magazine to become available all around the planet on the web, whilst still being the best-selling Football Annual in the market published by Pedigree.
Thanks to its history and classic roots Shoot is recognised amongst several generations of lads and dads and now has a thriving licensing programme, leveraging the brand’s retro appeal and heritage.
The mag was first published in 1969 by IPC. “It was the first mainstream football magazine in the market,” explains Matthew Reynolds, Sales and Licensing Manager for Pedigree – which first got involved with Shoot in 1999, licensing the brand from IPC initially to publish the Shoot Annual, and later extending the brand into other successful core publishing formats.
“Shoot titles have always proved a big success in the market and formed a key part of the Pedigree portfolio,” says Reynolds. “When the opportunity to buy the Shoot brand from IPC came up in 2008, Pedigree jumped at the chance.”
Two years after the acquisition, Rob Corney, MD of Bulldog Licensing approached Pedigree about the possibility of representing the brand.
Reynolds explains the link-up: “We recognised Rob’s strong track record of success and have not looked back since. Bulldog has already developed interest across multiple categories and territories.”
Since their partnership began, Bulldog and Pedigree currently have 12 licensees on board including Poetic Gem for apparel, Portico for gifts and greetings cards and a gift DTR with Peter Black for Marks & Spencer.
One of Shoot’s strengths in licensing over other football brands is its heritage and association with the ‘golden age of football’. Licensees have access to Shoot’s huge archive of iconic football content plus many of the pictures that have been published by Shoot in the past are made available.
Reynolds says: “The domestic and international images that are available to Shoot licensees are vast and go back to the golden age of football, and include stars such as George Best and Gazza.”
Shoot’s content and access to imagery is so vast, it can actually be a challenge to convey the opportunities to potential licensees, according to Reynolds: “Football is such a worldwide phenomenon that having these rights and image usage is very rare and licensees are surprised at the scope they get with the Shoot brand. This is obviously a challenge but also a great selling point for Shoot licensing.”
Bulldog is currently negotiating deals for the brand in China, continental Europe and New Zealand and has recently seen deals come to fruition in Spain, the Nordics and Benelux.
“The international potential for Shoot is immense and there is a history for the brand in many international territories already – Shoot was very successful on the export market for IPC in countries such as Australia and North America and we are currently working to develop new opportunities to distribute the magazine content in a localised form right around the world”
But apart from everything else, it’s football itself which makes Shoot an attractive property. Indeed, British football is the most popular version of the game worldwide, and, with its '60s and '70s golden age appeal, Shoot provides a great representation of this era to consumers.
Reynolds says: “Mention the name Best, Moore, Charlton, in any holiday resort, anywhere in the world and people will clamour to talk about the greatest moments in world football. Shoot is synonymous with this – it is a long-standing brand with credibility and a reputation for passion for the game in every territory.
“This is a hugely saleable asset and the worldwide programme will continue to grow throughout 2012.”