The Leicester Mercury has broken new ground by relaunching its weekly standalone sports publication with two ‘front’ pages.
To kick-off the new season in style, investment in extra pages and new content has been made to give the Sporting Blue even greater appeal to sports fans across Leicestershire.
The Sporting Blue, on sale every Saturday, now becomes the Sporting Green from the back page to reflect the massive rugby following at all levels across Leicester and Leicestershire.
The city’s football team plays in blue, while premiership rugby side Leicester Tigers play in green.
The paper has always given Leicester City fans the latest news and views from the Foxes camp. It has also been the place that followers of local football turn to for reports, pictures and the latest action from the local soccer scene.
The rugby section has been expanded to include more Tigers coverage, National League rugby, rugby comment and new pages covering the local rugby scene.
Mercury head of sport Gary Sherrard said: “Leicester Tigers are the biggest rugby club in the country, but there is a thriving scene beneath that in Leicestershire, from the six-year-olds playing tag rugby on Sunday mornings through to club teams of all standards, and we feel it is important to reflect all of that activity in the Sporting Green.
“The Sporting Blue has long been established as the place to read about grass-roots football and we have added even more of that this season too with a 24-page local football pull-out.”
The relaunch has been supported by a major promotional campaign using direct mail to sports clubs, in-paper advertising and new point-of-sale material – and retailers have been encouraged to display two facings of the paper – showing both the Blue and Green front pages.
The revamped publication has, so far, been very well received by readers with sales up both week-on-week and year-on-year for the first two issues.