Hail Varsity is a new company dedicated to covering Husker athletics by publishing a high quality magazine, website and radio show that airs in Lincoln, Columbus and Omaha. Hail Varsity Magazine provides a unique approach to Husker coverage that includes stunning photography, expert analysis and historical features. It publishes 16 issues per year, including weekly editions during football season.
Hail Varsity is owned by Aaron Babcock and his wife Jen, which makes it the only Nebraska-owned Husker publication. Hail Varsity’s team includes editor Mike Babcock(no relation), website editor Brandon Vogel, designer Quentin Lueninghoener and radio host Chris Schmidt.
What changes have you seen in the industry and your company in the past few years?
The biggest change we have seen is how people consume information. That’s why we present our partners with the opportunity to reach Husker fans via a number of platforms, including print, radio, Internet and social media. Social media has given businesses an incredible opportunity to engage with fans anywhere in the world and that is truly exciting.
What do you see happening with the business in the next five years?
We have some pretty lofty goals. We hope to become a household name for Husker fans around the country and to build on this vibrant audience. We are fortunate to have subscribers in 45 states after publishing our first issue in August, so we are very excited about that. We have a long way to go, but it appears that we are definitely filling a need within the Husker community. It’s also important to us that we find ways to give back to the community that has supported us.
What is one of the biggest challenges that your company has faced?
Like any start-up, the challenges are never-ending. Between growing circulation, finding investors, meeting with advertisers and marketing the brand, there isn’t much free time. Our decisions have to be swift. I suspect recognizing the difference between opportunities and distractions is a challenge for every business owner, but it’s even more crucial in the early stages of a business. I’ve been fortunate that the one thing we haven’t had to battle is finding quality talent. We’ve assembled an incredible team, which makes my life much easier.
What do you think makes you different from other companies similar to yours?
We are as passionate about the Huskers as our audience. Our goal is to create an emotional connection between our readers and Nebraska athletics. We believe that we have created one of the highest quality collegiate sports publications in the country. If our readers feel like they are on the sidelines with our photographers or having a one-on-one conversation with the players, then we have succeeded.
What do you like about doing business in Lincoln?
I feel like there is an incredible amount of energy in the community and we have seen a genuine desire and willingness by the community to help us succeed.
What kind of community organizations/groups are you involved with?
I have been a member of Lincoln South Rotary for a couple of years and recently joined the Lincoln and Omaha Chamber of Commerce.
Do you have a business philosophy or mission statement? In addition to putting out the best possible product, it’s important for our customers and clients to completely trust us. We have great appreciation for every one of our subscribers and each of our advertisers. They all entrust us with hard-earned money and we take that seriously.
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