Boulder, CO â€“ Advertising Age today honored Backpacker as one of the country's most dynamic media brands, including the Boulder, Colorado title in its annual Magazine A-List awards. A highly coveted recognition by one of the magazine industry's foremost trade publications, the A-List is known as a barometer of innovation and business health, and it typically favors well-known lifestyle brands owned by major New York publishers. For a brand of Backpacker's size and enthusiast focus to earn a spot is uncommon; of this year's top ten A-listers, Backpacker is the only vertical title.
In explaining the Backpacker award, Ad Age highlighted the brand's ability to remain in tune with core outdoor enthusiasts while also broadening its footprint with a variety of integrated platformsâ€”from print and website initiatives to nationwide eventsâ€”all designed to put consumers in close contact with marketing partners. â€œThat may well be the reason the title has thrived at a time when comparable niche mags have sagged,â€ says Advertising Age. â€œBackpacker lives to serve a hardened, involved core of outdoor enthusiasts, inspiring them with gear demos, trail recommendations and more.â€
While A-List honors have traditionally been grounded in advertising page and circulation metrics, this year's awards honor magazines that operate as integrated brands, leading the way into a new age of print and digital media. The article cites ingenious techniques used by the 10 winners to create revenue-generating digital content, build smart cross-media platforms, and find new ways to engage and monetize growing communities.
"Coming on the heels of National Magazine Awards for its print and web initiatives, this honor confirms two things,â€ says Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, CEO of Active Interest Media, which publishes Backpacker. â€œOne, that Backpacker employs one of the most creative and focused staffs around. And two, that enthusiast brands who diligently study and serve their communities will have a distinct advantage as consumer response becomes more and more critical to the success of media businesses. Backpacker has transformed itself into a leading multi-dimensional brand without sacrificing engagement with its readersâ€”and that's great news for marketing partners who already view the brand as an innovator.â€
This A-List recognition marks the fifth significant honor that Backpacker has won in 2009. Earlier in the year, Backpacker received three National Magazine Awards, including the highly-prized General Excellence Online Award. Backpacker was also awarded a silver medal from the Society of Publication Designers.
Backpacker (www.backpacker.com) brings the outdoors straight to the reader's doorstep, inspiring and enabling them to go more places and enjoy nature more often. The authority on active adventure, Backpacker is the world's first GPS-enabled magazine and website, and the only outdoor media whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear, and survival tips they publish. Backpacker's Editors' Choice Awards, an industry honor recognizing design, feature and product innovation, has become the gold standard against which all other outdoor-industry awards are measured. And the magazine recently launched mobile media applications that allow users to text-message hiking maps and directions to their phones. In the last four years, Backpacker has won five National Magazine Awards, the publishing industry's highest honor. In 2008, the magazine won the NMA for General Excellence, joining The New Yorker, Mother Jones, GQ, and National Geographic as top winners in their respective size categories. In 2009, it won three awards, including General Excellence Online. Backpacker has also won numerous other print, design, and digital awards, and its writers have been recognized in prestigious contests and best-of-the-year anthologies.