IGN Buys AskMen, Beefs Up Male Audience

Gaming and entertainment company IGN Entertainment has bought men’s portal AskMen.com, adding to its reach among the 18- to 34-year-old male demographic.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“We already have a pretty good lead in both [the 18- to 24-year-old and 18- to 34-year-old demos], and by partnering with AskMen we saw we could really lock in that lead,” said Richard Jalichandra, VP of business and corporate development at IGN Entertainment.

The sites have only a 10 percent overlap in audience. IGN’s other properties, such as IGN.com, GameSpy, and RottenTomatoes, focus mainly on gaming and entertainment-related content, while AskMen takes a more general approach, providing articles on dating, fashion and lifestyle issues.

The deal will also allow IGN to leverage its sales force, Jalichandra said. The company plans to have IGN’s entertainment-focused sales teams sell AskMen, and will beef up the site’s three-person sales force with new hires in New York and Los Angeles.

“They had done well for a small start-up of 15 people, but could be optimized from a sales perspective,” Jalichandra told ClickZ News.

IGN will incorporate its standard ad units across the AskMen property, and AskMen will continue to offer custom editorial integration such as sponsored channels or sponsored content. One of the company’s most unusual deals had Unilever’s Axe deodorant taking over the AskMen site. As part of the sponsorship, the site’s name was changed to “AxeMen” and the color scheme shifted to red and black.

“Coming soon would probably be the integration of video content and video advertising opportunities,” said Jalichandra.

AskMen reached 3.8 million unique visitors in March, according to comScore Media Metrix numbers.

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