When Nick Palazzo and Chad Zimmerman played varsity football at Cleveland’s Mayfield High School in the late 1990s, they made some common sports mistakes.
They overtrained. They didn’t rest enough after tough games. They lifted too much weight in gym workouts. And while they tried to get tips on how they could improve their games, they found scant information for high school athletes.
So after graduating from college, and with more than $1 million in seed money from CapitalWorks LLC, a Cleveland-based private-equity firm, they started STACK, a full-color, glossy magazine to answer all the training, nutrition, and other sports-skills questions they had as teenagers.
“The whole mission is to help [high school] athletes, and to give information we never had,” said Mr. Palazzo, the magazine’s 23-year-old publisher. Mr. Zimmerman, also 23, is the editor in chief.
The cover of STACK’s first issue, which appeared in February, features Cleveland Cavaliers NBA player LeBron James. A pullout poster of Mr. LeBron’s high school training program is included in the issue, as are articles on protein supplements, how basketball players can increase their vertical jumps, and training regimens to increase speed.
Nationally renowned coaches are among the experts contributing to STACK, which is slated to come out 10 times a year, and advertisers include well-known sports companies such as Nike and Reebok.
Copies of the magazine, at www.stackmag.com, are distributed free to athletic directors in 3,200 high schools in the country’s top 52 metropolitan markets, Mr. Palazzo said.
“This is our dream magazine,” said Mr. Palazzo. “[Students] are saying, ‘We’ve been waiting for this.’ ”