It's all about ready access to a captive — and wealthy — audience.
Travelers on fledgling, single-class premium Eos Airlines are the audience for a new quarterly magazine, Club 48 Lifestyles, scheduled to be launched in February. The audience, mostly business owners and executives on the current 36 flights a week between New York and London, is also to be the subject of the magazine's stories and regular features.
The idea, said Douglas Gollan, founding editor in chief of Club 48 Lifestyles, is to create a clubby sense of community not unlike the environment on the flights themselves, where the passengers regularly see one another on board and interact during their travels in the 48-seat 757s, originally built for 220 passengers. (The 48 in the magazine's title refers to the number of seats in the aircraft.)
Regular features will include The Buzz, about an Eos traveler; Startups and Launches, profiling new businesses; Passion, illuminating passengers' lifestyles; Collecting and Connoisseurship, and Parties and Entertaining.
The pool of potential readers is 42 years old, on average; three-quarters of them are men; 60 percent are business travelers, and 20 percent have annual household income of at least $1 million. Nearly six in 10 have household income of at least $250,000.
Round-trip fares on Eos range widely, from a bare-bones $2,500 to $7,500, if booked just a day ahead, with frills such as limo service. The average round-trip fare for travel between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and London's Stansted Airport runs $3,200, according to Carolyn Meyer, director of brand experience at Eos, which affords each passenger 21 square feet of personal space, a six-foot, six-inch flat bed (with cashmere blanket and Tempur-Pedic pillow) and china and linen dining service, among other amenities.
Gollan said he's getting the first issue off the ground for "under $1 million." Only full-page ads and two-page ad spreads will be sold, for a respective $5,500 and $25,000. Advertisers will likely include some of those found within the covers of Elite Traveler, a slick, bimonthly magazine distributed free in private jets and megayachts, which, like Club 48, is edited by Gollan and published by Universal Media Inc. About 30 percent of Elite Traveler's advertisers stem from fashion, jewelry or watch companies, said the magazine's editor in chief, who also is president of Universal Media.In the September-October edition of Elite Traveler, where ads account for 108 of the 194 pages, there are a handful of fashion ads (Ralph Lauren, Escada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton); 13 from jewelers (including Beaudry, Gold and Diamond, Charles Krypell, Cartier and Harry Winston), and 19 ads for watches (Breitling, Ulysse Nardin, Corum, Ernst Benz and Jacob & Co., among others.)
Eos passengers are also a likely audience for special event tie-ins with Club 48 Lifestyles, such as an in-flight fashion show or giveaway of a fashion look book. "A fashion show on board is a great idea," Meyer acknowledged. "We sponsor Gen Art; we might have a dinner party [for the group] on board." Eos' corporate sponsorship of the Graff Diamond Cup in Greenwich, Conn., for instance, provided the gift of free tickets for some Eos guests to the Sept. 10 polo match at the Greenwich Polo Club.
Roughly 2,100 passengers could occupy the 44 flights Eos expects to offer each week, beginning Oct. 31, making for 25,000 potential readers each quarter (in the event they were all different flyers), an audience Club 48 Lifestyles aims to serve with around 20,000 copies of each issue. The 36 weekly flights Eos sends aloft are usually 70 percent full, Meyer noted.
After 2008, the premium airline, which turns four years old this month, will unveil flights to two more international destinations, Meyer said. Among the possibilities: Paris and Dubai.
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