Competitor Magazine Rebrands as Competitor Running
Jessie Sebor, Competitor Group's recently promoted VP of media, makes her mark on the 30-year-old title.
On newsstands this month, the September issue of Competitor magazine appears not only with a new look, but a new name to boot.
In a move that coincides with the title’s 30th anniversary, executive editor Nicki Miller, who joined the brand in May, and VP of media Jessie Sebor, recently promoted from editor-in-chief of sister title Women’s Running, have rebranded Competitor magazine as Competitor Running.
“While we’re thrilled to have a magazine with such a strong legacy, it was time to shake things up,” Sebor tells Folio:. “Our central goal was to underline Competitor Running’s position as the trusted source for runners — this is of course why we added ‘Running’ to the name.”
Covering the debut issue, so to speak, of Competitor Running are mom-and-son team Cindy Spiva and Cormac Evans, the latter of whom suffers from a rare neurological condition known as hemimegalencephaly.
“Cormac Evans doesn’t need to force a smile. Spiva’s 14-year-old son can’t talk, isn’t independently mobile and is mostly paralyzed on the right side of his body,” reads a heartwarming four-page profile. “Yet his grin is ear to ear as Mom pushes him through the park in a racing chair, both of them head to toe in new Brooks apparel and shoes. A slight breeze kicks up off of Lake Union, cooling the Pacific Northwest sun on a rare day when it doesn’t compete with Seattle clouds. For Spiva, the attention is new and exciting. For Cormac, it’s pure bliss.”
The Spivas were the winners of a cover contest sponsored by apparel brand Brooks Running and held in time for the magazine’s rebranding, part of what Sebor describes as Competitor Running‘s effort to “show that every runner’s journey deserves to be celebrated.”
Clearly, Sebor is taking some cues from her seven-year run as editor-in-chief of Women’s Running, which ended when she took on her new role earlier this year, during which she repositioned that title as an advocate not only for inspiration, but for inclusion and empowerment — celebrating transgender athletes and including a woman in a hijab as a cover star.
“We are taking the best of what we learned from Women’s Running‘s transformation and applying this to Competitor Running — while ensuring both titles retain a unique purpose, look and voice,” says Sebor. “Where Women’s Running is very community/lifestyle focused, Competitor Running is that coach, nutritionist or trusted running buddy you can turn to for advice on how to get faster, stronger, and more healthy.”
New editorial features added under the rebrand include heavy promotion of parent company Competitor Group’s year-round Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series — a distinctly millennial and metropolitan-focused series of global road running events — and increased contributions from elite coaches, nutritionists, and runners like Meb Keflezighi and multiple-marathon winner Neely Spence Gracey.
“We rethought our distribution, as well, to ensure that we are speaking to runners when they most need support: at running stores and on race day, the most exciting weekend of their running year,” adds Sebor.