Glory Mag releases its fifth edition and chats with Cult Kits on the mags humbling beginnings and how it's led to them working with a Premier League team.

We've been admirers of Glory Mag for sometime now! Blissfully looking over the mags stunning imagery, often capturing beautiful football pitches in stunning European locations.

For those of you that might not know, Glory is a high-end football and travel publication, aiming to put the ‘beautiful’ back into the beautiful game. They travel the world documenting alternative football cultures including the most remote, exotic and unusual destinations.

We talked to one of the magazines founders, Ryan Mason about how Glory Mag came to exist along with its plans for the future.

CK: First things first – who do you support?

GM: I’m a Norwich City fan and Lee (the other co-founder of Glory) is a Liverpool fan - as you can imagine, a lot was exchanged during the first game of the season! I’m actually really optimistic for Norwich’s season, unlike many of the pundits and journalists. I think we’ll surprise a few people. We’re playing some of the best football I’ve seen us play and there’s something special happening right now at Carrow Road and around our beautiful city. A successful season for us would be avoiding relegation and maintaining our premier league status.

CK: Let's go back to the beginning – how did Glory Mag come to be?

GM: Glory all started when I was working in London and was commuting back to Norwich. It was on the 5pm train between London Liverpool St and Norwich that I started coming up with the idea of producing a football publication that was different to what was already in the market - something that incorporated all my interests; football, photography and travel. I pitched the idea to Lee who is a highly respected creative in Norwich and he was keen to make it happen - after a few weeks of planning and research, it was then only a few more weeks until we were at our first destination, the Faroe Islands. It all happened very quickly. We’re now 5 issues in, having traveled to the Faroe Islands, Kosovo, Sweden, Ireland and Switzerland. 

CK: Tell us a bit about the Mag and the aspirations of it?

GM: I think what we do brings something different - we try to pride ourselves on original, experience-led content by traveling and immersing ourselves into the football culture of the places we visit. We do a lot of research, connecting with key contacts before traveling to our destination with an extremely busy itinerary. This is key to every issue we do - but what I really love about doing it this way is making new friends and contacts on the way. Experiencing and learning what football culture is really like at our destination and building strong affiliations with teams for our club focus sections of the publication. Our aspirations is to continue producing the publication, but on a more structured schedule - at the moment each issue is a bit spontaneous and that is mainly due to the extensive amount of research required, but going forwards we’d like to have more of a structure by guaranteeing two issues a year and being able to offer a subscription service for our readers.

CK: Your issues are famed for it's beautiful photography – do these form the foundation of your mag?

GM: I think the photography plays a key part for each issue and sets the aesthetic along with the design work, but ultimately the most important thing for us is producing a product that we’re proud of and we really hope others appreciate what we’re producing too. 

CK: How does Glory fit in around other footy mags?

GM: I do think we’re a niche publication compared to some of the other great football magazines available - specifically focusing on a singular destination per issue and really focusing on the cultural elements to educate and inspire readers to want to go and experience it for themselves. I think we’re predominantly football, but with strong travel and cultural related content featured too. As previously mentioned, we pride ourselves on experiencing and capturing the content ourselves, but also working with local football fans, creatives and journalists who live and breathe it everyday, so they can tell their stories too.

CK: What's your take on the rise of footy mags and the culture surrounding it?

GM: There’s so many great football publications out there right now - all doing their own thing - but all with a common theme of producing a high quality product.I don’t think demand has ever been so high for creative football related publications.

CK: Do you think there's still a place for print when it comes to publications such as yourself?

GM: There most definitely is - I think it’s about producing something with quality, something that people want to keep on their coffee tables and bookshelves and not dispose of. I think many are starting to invest and produce this way to make it sustainable and as an industry we’re now seeing a rise in print sales and readership. I think there’s always something nice about buying something tangible to read and everyone loves THAT smell of print!

CK: Besides, Glory – we've seen that you've been involved with Norwich City FC – can you tell us a bit more about it?

GM: We’re based in Norwich, so word gets about our small city on what we do. The club were fully aware of Glory and have always expressed an interest. They approached us at the start of the year about collaborating and creating a club edition. As a Norwich fan, this was a dream project and something I’ve always wanted to do as a kid; to work with the club I love. I got to fulfil this dream and I’m happy it’s been received so well by the club and fans, having sold out after a couple of days. The feedback we’ve had from it has been incredible and it just so happened to tie in nicely with the club’s promotion. The issue was a celebration of the club’s culture and history, the promotion was the cherry on top!

CK: Despite Glory's success amongst it's community – where would you like to take it? Perhaps a documentary version of one of the issues?

GM: We have some big plans for Glory - we see it being more than just a publication and are currently working on the next steps. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.

CK: Do you see Glory evolving into a specific type of mag – or are you happy for it to reflect where you as the producers are in both artistic and footballing terms?

GM: We’re happy with what Glory reflects at this moment in time - it allows us to communicate our creativity, as well as inform and educate readers. For me that’s a perfect combination. I’ll never forget hearing from one of our readers who messaged us on social media to say that our Faroe Islands edition influenced them to visit the country. On their flights over they saw somebody else with a copy of the magazine. For me, this encompasses exactly what we set out to do. Inspire people to go and experience different types of football culture - to not think that football was just what they watch on the TV. There’s so much more to it out there and we wanted to bring that to light in countries that may not get as much exposure.

CK: Can we be involved with the next issue? *(optional)

GM: Absolutely - we’d love to work with Cult kits in some way in the future. Let’s make it happen!


Issue 5 from Glory Magazine is available to purchase here.


All imagery copyright of Glory Mag 2019



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