MASH Magazine Sponsorship FAQs

Why does MASH need industry sponsorship?

Simply put, we need your help. In the era of digital social media, high-quality print magazines are disappearing. Why? Today, corporate advertisers are wary of spending on a niche publication like ours without a long term track record. And, sites like Facebook and Twitter now provide advertisers with quantifiable data that links directly to purchasing and profits. Magazines have always inferred consumer behaviour using complicated research techniques, as there is almost no way to monitor actual consumer engagement with magazine advertising. So, advertisers are turning away from print. High-quality magazines whose journalism was traditionally funded by advertising, have been disappearing as a result.

By and large, magazines on newsstands today are little more than paid catalogues. Stories are written to create buzz for products. Objectivity is irrelevant.

Our craft brewery friends told us you preferred MASH as a print magazine – tactile, high quality. You also said your industry had more than enough shallow, self-serving media. You wanted a magazine that reflected your own values – genuine, creative, authoritative, and sincere. You wanted objective, thoughtful, and well-researched stories. Most of all, you wanted a level playing field where stories about your individual achievements were not tied to how much money you spend on advertising.

To do this, we need a modest, unfettered base of funding from the industry itself. You.

Will there be any advertising?

Yes. But limited to not more than 15% of the magazine (most ratios are 40%-60%).

Can’t the advertising pay for everything?

With 96 pages per issue, the production cost per page is about $315. On a sold-out basis, advertising revenue would only pay for about $150 per page.

What about getting more subscribers?

We are open to individual subscriptions, and already have a solid base. However, subscription revenues only cover the cost of shipping/handling. Charging more would make MASH unaffordable.

Do we get anything in return for our sponsorship?

Yes. We will send you up to 20 extra copies of the magazine (depending on the total number of participating breweries – we will print as many copies as we can afford). We will also offer a listing in the printed magazine and online, much the same way charities list their donors. However, if you wish, you can opt out of this.

Does sponsorship get us a story?

Not necessarily. The final arbiter of content is our Editor, in concert with our expert journalists. All of us at MASH strive to follow every nook and cranny of the industry. But it is up to the editorial team to choose stories that are objective, authoritative and prepared with professional integrity.

What happens if I don’t sponsor you?

We’ve set the sponsorship fee at a modest level that we hope makes it easy for you. But, it requires at least 200 breweries supporting us. We’ve already received commitments of support from large and small breweries across Canada who grasped the idea, and showed their generosity. Now we need a bigger part of the industry to get behind the idea of MASH.

What happens to my sponsorship $ if you don’t meet your target?

If we do not publish, we will refund all sponsorships.

Why is the sponsorship for at least four issues?

Editorial lead times are often as long as nine months. If we cannot commit to our writers for a year of work, and to our readers for a year of publishing, we will not achieve the momentum we need to survive.

What is the purpose of MASH Magazine?

Ah, good question. We use the phrase ‘a rising tide raises all boats.’ Our goal is to help grow the craft industry. All of you are incredibly smart brand managers who know a great product needs to be combined with a great story. Authenticity is everything. MASH exists to tell these stories about your industry across Canada. (Check out our editorial: Why We Do This).

Who is behind MASH Magazine?

MASH was started by Thomas Gilbert. Tom fell in love with all things craft while studying at Queen’s University. He went on to manage front-of-house operations at Stone City Brewing in Kingston, ON. He was joined by his father Paul who has a long career in the advertising industry as an art director, marketing executive, and photographer. For Chief Editor, Tom enlisted his good friend and copywriter Nick Blagrave. Immediate family and a small group of friends provided funding, and pitched in on technology, research, production, and legal. MASH is a labour of love, and we have steadfastly refused to sell out to media aggregators and big industry. Most of the people on the team own a piece of the business, but don’t get paid.

Is MASH a for-profit business?

Technically, yes. In retrospect, we probably should have built a B corporation. Our goal with your sponsorship is to break even with a small margin that might, over several years, return the original capital to the shareholders. No doubt you follow the stories around the world about the state of journalism and periodicals. It’s a tough business.

Will MASH only be for financial sponsors?

No. Anyone making craft beer or supporting/supplying the industry in Canada is fair game for our articles. Our plan is that every brewery on our extensive list receives at least one copy of every issue. And, we will continue to reach the general public primarily through taprooms, bottle shops, retailers, bars and pubs.

How many issues per year will you do?

With your sponsorships, MASH will be a quarterly periodical. (Read our publishing plan for the coming year.) We are also considering special issues dedicated to specific themes (for example: The Art of the Label), which would not be supported by sponsorship; they would be sold on a pre-order basis only. We will also continue to increase our online content with an emphasis on broad inclusiveness and timely topics.

What about back issues?

With our new sponsorship strategy, there won’t be a lot of spare copies. Already, Issues #1 and #2 are down to the last box. But we’re looking at publishing back issues online six months after the original publishing date.

Can I get more copies?

Yes. You can pre-order extra copies of MASH in batches of 10 here. Print-run quantities close six weeks before the magazine is released, so don’t leave it to the last minute.

I have questions that you have not answered. Can I call or email you?

By all means. Paul Gilbert, Executive Publisher: 250-588-9981 or paul@mashmagazine.ca.