12 June 2008, BURLINGTON, ONT.
A new men's magazine with a Christian focus.
The Promise Keepers of Canada, a non-profit, non-denominational Christian organization based in Burlington, Ont., is launching a new magazine to reach out to Canadian men across the country. Seven, which is being produced in partnership with Winnipeg-based publishing company ChristianWeek, will carry all the usual hallmarks of men’s mags—fitness, finance, sports, games, gadgets, reviews—underlined by a Christian perspective. The first 30,000 copies will be delivered to mail boxes and churches on Sunday, to coincide with Father’s Day.
As a tie-in, the debut issue is loosely themed around father/son relationships. It includes a cover story on Elvis Iginla, dad to Calgary Flames superstar Jarome Iginla, and a profile of Toronto-based actor Jason Hildebrand, who performs a one-man show based on the parable of the prodigal son. Other features include a female-written column on what women want, a “rant” about hockey cheerleaders and a spiritual advice column written by Rod Wilson, president of Regent College, a theological school based in Vancouver.
Response so far has been “really positive,” says Jeff Stearns, marketing manager for the Promise Keepers. About 15,000 copies of the 36-page premiere were requested by churches for distribution on Sunday, while another 14,000 individual men have asked for the magazine to be mailed. The remaining 1,000 copies will be placed in select Christian bookstores and sold for $4.95. Ad sales have been more of a challenge, Stearns admits, but he expects things will pick up after the first issue gets out. The rate for full-page, full-colour ad is $3,485.
While all of the magazine’s content is rooted in Christian teachings and values, the Promise Keepers are hoping Seven will have broader appeal. “It’s a magazine for Christian guys but not everything in there will be absolutely Christian,” Stearns says. “We’re interested in other stuff.”
So what about those staples of any brand name men’s mag, lewd sex jokes and photos of nearly naked women? Not a chance. But that doesn’t mean the mag will skip lovemaking altogether. “This publication recognizes that men are very interested in sex,” says managing editor Doug Koop of ChristianWeek, which handles printing, editorial, sales and layout for the magazine. “It’s not trying to titillate in any way. It’s trying to transfer that sexual energy into positive areas, like good sex within marriage.”