Greater Lansing SPORT
The magazine debuted in September of 2008. According to Gnass, “People here saw the need for a sports publication focusing on the community.”
Gnass is the founder and principal of Traction, a marketing and design firm in Lansing which he started in 1995. Gnass says, “Chris [Holman] approached me about designing this new magazine. I told him that I wasn’t interested just in the design, but that I would like to be a partner in the venture. I wanted to bring my love of sports to life with this publication. I’d been coaching high school soccer; my brother was a collegiate athlete; I played college soccer; my best friend was a Division 1 basketball player. I grew up loving sports and I’d had the idea for a long time to do something to promote them.”
Editor in Chief Jack Ebling is a fixture on the local sports scene, with his life in sports starting long before his current position at Greater Lansing SPORT. Born in the Detroit area, Ebling attended Michigan State University and became a teacher and coach. He worked in Lapeer teaching and coaching both football and track before returning to Lansing and beginning a 25-year career covering community, high school and college sports for the Lansing State Journal. He also was part of the Jack and Tom morning sports team with Tom Crawford. When the station changed formats, Chris Holman approached Ebling to be part his show; then with another hand from Holman, Ebling’s involvement was replaced with his own 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily show.
In his spare time, Ebling has written a series of five books on the Detroit Tigers, Tales From the Detroit Tigers’ Dugout, and is currently working on his sixth in that series. There’s another book in the works as well. This one, The Heart of a Spartan, focuses on MSU football and should be in the bookstores before the next football season starts. Ebling is in the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame and a three-time winner of the Michigan Sportswriter of the Year award.
Gnass says, “Lansing is unique in that it has not only a passion for high school sports with big historic rivalries but also collegiate sports with Michigan State and Lansing Community College and, in addition, very active community sports.”
Every issue contains a wide range, diversity and depth. Gnass makes a comparison that, “SPORT is like People Magazine except all about Lansing sports.” The publication is available by subscription and is distributed free throughout the region.
Greater Lansing SPORT has an editorial board advising on content. However, if something special comes along, the magazine can revamp and “go for it,” Ebling explains.
Gnass says, “At the beginning, we wondered about whether we could fill a magazine every month, but that certainly hasn’t been a problem for us. We always have a waiting list of about 40 stories on our to-do board. We figure we cover about 100 different sports. And these are stories out of the mainstream, in depth and in detail.”
Community response has been enthusiastic and positive. Long-term plans include creating a Web version of the magazine and increasing the number of stories they are able to cover.
Both Gnass and Ebling agree that everyone they have worked with has been “amazing.”
“Working with people in the community has been one of the most rewarding things about this job. They give us story ideas and work with us to see them come to print,” Ebling says.
“Working with MSU has been wonderful. Cooperation from all the high schools and from the community has been nothing but great,” Gnass adds.
John Wooden famously said: “Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” And Greater Lansing SPORT brings readers the character, personality, drive and dedication behind the games.
Greater Lansing SPORT
Sport Community Publishing
Jack Ebling, Editor in Chief
Camron Gnass, Publisher
617 E. Michigan Ave.