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FIRM TO PUBLISH MONTHLY BUFFALO SPORTS MAGAZINE

A 52-page color glossy sports magazine called BfloSports will hit the newsstands Saturday with the mission of providing monthly in-depth coverage of area sports, according to editor-in-chief Jeffrey M. Sawyer.

The magazine's territory will include professional, college, high school, amateur and recreational sports, said Sawyer, president of Great Events Merchandising Co. Inc., which is publishing BfloSports.

"I think there is an enormous wealth of talented athletes in Buffalo," said Sawyer, who spent five years directing publications and merchandising for the Buffalo Bisons. "We're looking deeper into the headlines."

In the past, all-sports publications in Buffalo have not enjoyed long lives. Sawyer said BfloSports will succeed where some others have failed. "We feel there's a need for it," he said. "It's just up to us to market it."

BfloSports will cost $1.95 at about 300 area news outlets served by Empire State News Corp. Subscriptions for six months cost $10, with discounts available for longer periods. Holling Press Inc. printed 15,000 copies of the first edition.

The magazine will not be strictly a cheerleader for the home teams, Sawyer said. The June edition includes stories that appear to ask hard questions.

"New Faces, Same Story" is the headline on a Sabres feature, with the sub-head: "After failing to meet expectations, the Buffalo Sabres face an off-season of soul searching."

A Bills feature is titled, "All For One?" and adds, "Internal problems may be the only thing between the Bills and the Super Bowl."

With a cover story on "10 unforgettable moments in Buffalo sports history," the June issue also includes a profile of Angola's Christian Laettner, basketball star at Duke University; a profile of Bob Barrows, baseball coach at Orchard Park High School, and a story on the Bisons' Jeff King.

In future editions, Sawyer said he intends to cover sports magazine
everything from bowling to skateboarding to bar-league softball.

While there is some advertising in the first edition, Sawyer said many advertisers wanted to see the first edition before buying space. Advertising must fill about 35 percent of the journal for it to be successful, he said. His goal is to break even in a year.

"I'm not doing this to get rich," Sawyer said. "I'm doing this as a service to the community, because I enjoy it, and I love sports."

The writers and photographers work on a free-lance basis, and BfloSports will consider submissions. Clip Smith, former sportscaster for WKBW-TV, will be a regular writer covering high school sport. Bills linebacker Ray Bentley and WBEN's sports director John Murphy are columnists.

Sawyer's company, Great Events Merchandising, headquartered at its retail outlet at 232 West Ferry St., is involved in several marketing ventures. Recently the company helped launch alter-ego T-shirts that change color and design depending on the temperature.

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