By Jed Drenning
(Editor in Chief)
In the summer of 2006 I was living in Morgantown when a certain high profile national sports publication issued its annual college football preview edition. The magazine was replete with all its customary bells and whistles, except this time something was different. A lot different. This time the magazine cover itself had poked an IV directly into the cephalic vein of Mountaineer Nation and infused into her 3,000cc’s of “in-your-face” old gold and blue swagger featured on the page for all the world to see were West Virginia Sugar Bowl heroes Owen Schmitt, Steve Slaton and Pat White.
Sure the cover was a regional version and other covers existed around the country for the same issue, but none of that really mattered. For Mountaineer fans, this was the gridiron equivalent to hearing Bob Barker shout into his mic: “WVU, come on down!”
After seeing the cover online I popped into a nearby Books-A-Million to grab a copy only to discover the magazine was sold out. Oh well, I thought, I’ll pick one up at Barnes & Noble. Same deal: sold out. Over the next few days I stopped at other vendors in search of a copy but time and again I kept hitting the same roadblock: sold out.It wasn’t until a week later that I finally managed to get my hands on a copy. I opened it up and was immediately struck by one point. Despite the WVU theme on the cover there were only a handful of pages dedicated to West Virginia inside the magazine. Wow. I started to consider this from different angles. It wasn’t long before I found myself mulling it over with the creative team that would soon join me to form Victory Marketing.
The question was simple. If a preview magazine with such limited WVU coverage could sell out so quickly simply because of an enticing cover, how might Mountaineer fans respond to a West Virginia-heavy preview publication?
Last year we finally got our answer. Our premier edition of TheSignalCaller.com magazine took off like Tavon Austin in the open field. In no uncertain terms the success we enjoyed in 2010 showed us there truly is a hearty appetite in Mountaineer Nation for a WVU-centric college football preview magazine.
Mountaineer Signal Caller Geno Smith (12)
We heard you loud and clear and - to try and keep up the pace - we’ve added twenty-four pages to the publication in addition to bringing another 40 store locations on board as vendors. The magazine is now available for sale at nearly 175 locations in four states, and of course online at TheSignalCaller.com.
The process to create this year’s edition began in earnest in January, not long after returning home from the Champs Sports Bowl. It involved phone calls, interviews, emails, dozens of hectic nights and a heaping pile of busy weekends – all the things a fanatical group of football publishers live for! We hope you have as much fun combing through it as we did putting it together.
See you at the fifty!