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Meet the Editor: Andy Afford

isubscribe speaks with the editor of Pitch magazine, Andy Afford on the brand new sports magazine covering 30 sports! See what we can look forward to in issue 1 and what to expect from future issues!

Pitch is a brand-new magazine, covering stories of 30 different kinds of sport! Why was it important for the magazine to cover all sports?

Well, if I’m honest I’m not sure if it is necessary, actually! Especially after finding out the amount of editorial that was involved. But ultimately the feedback we’ve had tells us that it has made for a really good read. And why wouldn’t it, because after all, we’re all sports fans before we’re fans of individual sports, aren’t we? We’ve just used that premise as a starting point for telling the best stories we can. We know there’s nothing sports fans like more than knowing something their friends don’t. That might be the discovery of some upcoming talent. An odd, or unusual stat about a famous person or event. And knowing something a bit leftfield is even better. I think our blueprint for this is showcased perfectly in our 100 facts feature that closes the first section of the magazine. In Issue 1 it happens to cover baseball. And has any number of those little nuggets we’ve all loved sharing. But it will be something that we think readers will like too. Equally, outside of Sports Illustrated in the States, we can’t find an example of it being attempted anywhere else. Maybe that’s with good reason! But we’ll definitely find out.

Can you tell us a little bit about what’s included in issue 1?

We’ve long-form reads that include football - Jurgen Klopp before he came to Liverpool. Laura Kenny. Simone Biles. The history of the men’s 100-metre world record. Rugby’s Exeter Chiefs. Ultimate frisbee! Croquet! Sporting train stations! Darts! Golf! And the issue finishes off with one of ice hockey’s legendary baddies, Bob Probert. A man so ‘bad’ his ashes were scattered in the sin bin of his home stadium. As magazines go, we think this all makes it pretty tough to beat. But not as tough as ‘Probie’, obviously.

You mention on your website, about building a community around this magazine. Can you explain why this was important to you?

There is nothing people like more than talking about sport. Unless it’s music! To talk about sport AND music, pretty-well fills up the dance card of lots of people! We think it’s these people that also like books, records, and magazines. It’s makes for a never-ending source of wonderment, bemusement and by turn, entertainment. Making it a place where people want to hang out. These, we think, are our people. We’ve heard Pitch described by readers as being serious without taking itself too seriously. We think that makes for a nice place to hang out.

What’s the best thing about being the editor of Pitch magazine?

Well, if I’m honest I’m only editor by default! But that doesn’t mean that I feel unqualified, as I’m someone that has been lucky enough to play sport professionally, have coached sport professionally, and written about sport professionally across my career. But ideally I’d like someone else to sit in the chair. We have an eye on someone pretty special - for guest editor, if we can’t talk them into anything more permanent. But for now, you’re stuck with me.

What can subscribers expect from future issues? Why subscribe?

That is the age-old question, isn’t it? Why, indeed. Well, I can’t really speak for everyone, but from our magazine’s perspective, we think it’s an exciting proposition. Certainly this first issue lays out what we’re all about. We think it’s a high bar we’ve set. So it’s a real guarantee of quality. We do think that four times a year we are going to create something pretty special, making each issue an event of genuine anticipation. Something we hope people will want to make themselves part of. And there is no better way to do this, we think, than being a much-loved subscriber.

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