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Hearst buys stake in Gear Patrol

Published April 25, 2018

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — Hearst Magazines has taken a minority stake in Gear Patrol, a "men's enthusiast media company" that operates partly on an affiliate e-commerce model. Last year Hearst bought Rodale, including its Bicycling magazine title.

Gear Patrol covers a variety of consumer goods, including bike gear and other sporting goods. According to a statement from Hearst on Wednesday morning, Gear Patrol "maintains a diverse revenue stream across advertising, branded content, commerce and events."

Many cycling websites, including Bicycling, have added affiliate marketing and e-commerce in recent years as an supplement to traditional display ads. Under the affiliate model, Gear Patrol articles include links that allow readers to purchase products from the supplier or another e-commerce site. Gear Patrol receives a cut of any sales made via that link. For example, an article about Yeti’s new SB100 model on the site includes a "Buy Now” link that leads to the Competitive Cyclist e-commerce site’s Yeti section. The Gear Patrol site also has its own store section and the company also publishes a print magazine.

“Gear Patrol adds power to our portfolio of men’s-focused brands, including Esquire and Men’s Health, as well as our enthusiast brands, Runner’s World and Bicycling,” said Hearst Magazines' president, David Carey. 

Gear Patrol's editor-in-chief and founder, Eric Yang, said, “Hearst is the home to so many legendary brands and to say that we are thrilled to be working with their team is an understatement ... This investment will further accelerate our vision to bring product journalism to enthusiasts, expand our in-house branded content production agency, Gear Patrol Studios, and further innovate our approach to commerce. We could not have found a better partner or champion of our team’s work.”

Topics associated with this article: Mergers, Acquisitions & Investments, Media/Publishing

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