Eddie Winner: Best Series of Articles

When the founding partners of Rebel magazine weren’t finding what they wanted in traditional mens publications, they decided to create their own. In fact, out of the entire management group, only editor Ron Matejko had any prior publishing experience.

“Our goal is to reach men; get them thinking and connecting differently to themselves and others,” founding partner and publisher Michael Kelley explains. “We are in the first inning of a cultural shift regarding masculinity and social consciousness. Rebel hopes to be on the forefront of that change. Men’s lifestyle magazines have been recycling the same externally driven content for generations. We wanted to offer men meaningful content that fully represented their life experience and personal challenges.”

The Rebel With a Cause series of articles is the magazine’s anchor feature. Kelley says the articles are about men who have experienced a transformational arc in their lives. “A lot of people pursue the things that are hallmarks of success in our culture, and then realize they don’t want to chase them any more, they want to dedicate their lives to a cause greater than themselves. Rebel features one man each month, a “Rebel With a Cause,” who is doing something extraordinary to impact the lives of others. Kelley explains that featured rebels can come from the worlds of philanthropy, business, sports, politics, entertainment or just about any field of endeavor.

The Scottsdale, AZ-based magazine began as print-only, published quarterly, in runs of 35-40,000. “Print was designed to build brand awareness and establish our publication; we see our primary growth in digital going forward,” says Kelley, noting the cost and scale advantages of digital publishing. “However, our readers still enjoy our print publication, so we intend to keep a tangible product.” The company plans to roll out an iPad edition in January 2012, while increasing publishing frequency to bi-monthly as well.

Rebel also employs a unique vehicle: “We have a 45-foot bus that we use for service work. It has been a great way to get people together to build better relationships and help those in need in our community,” Kelley explains. In the past, Rebel had dedicated advertising space solely to charitable organizations. In 2012, Rebel will start offering brand partners ad space focused on their “good purpose” initiatives rather than just products and services, and encourage their participation at the events themselves.