Sports Illustrated

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Sports Illustrated
Sportsillustrated firstissue.jpg
The first issue of Sports Illustrated, showing Milwaukee Braves star Eddie Mathews at bat and New York Giants catcher Wes Westrum in Milwaukee County Stadium
Editorial Director, Time Inc. Sports Group Chris Stone
Staff writers
Staff

Managing Editor SI.com: Stephen Cannella
Managing Editor SI Golf Group: Jim Gorant
Creative Director: Christopher Hercik
Director of Photography: Brad Smith[1]
Senior Editor, Chief of Reporters: Richard Demak
Senior Editors: Mark Bechtel, Trisha Lucey Blackmar, MJ Day (Swimsuit); Mark Godich; Stefanie Kaufman (Operations); Kostya P.

Kennedy, Diane Smith (Swimsuit)
'Senior Writers: Kelli Anderson, Lars Anderson, Chris Ballard, Michael Bamberger, George Dohrmann, David Epstein, Michael Farber, Damon Hack, Lee Jenkins, Peter King, Thomas Lake, Tim Layden, J. Austin Murphy, Dan Patrick, Joe Posnanski, S.L. Price, Selena Roberts, Alan Shipnuck, Phil Taylor, Ian Thomsen, Jim Trotter, Gary Van Sickle, Tom Verducci, Grant Wahl, L. Jon Wertheim
Associate Editors: Darcie Baum (Swimsuit); Mark Beech, Adam Duerson, Gene Menez, Elizabeth Newman, David Sabino (Statistics)
Staff Writers: Brian Cazeneuve, Albert Chen, Chris Mannix, Ben Reiter, Melissa Segura
Deputy Chief of Reporters: Lawrence Mondi
Writer-Reporters: Sarah Kwak, Andrew Lawrence, Rick Lipsey, Julia Morrill, Rebecca Sun, Pablo S. Torre
Reporters: Kelvin C. Bias, Matt Gagne, Rebecca Shore
Categories Sports magazine
Frequency Bi-Weekly
Publisher Danny Lee
Total circulation
(December 2015)
3,023,197[2]
First issue August 16, 1954
Company Meredith Corporation
Country United States
Based in New York, USA
Language English
Website www.SI.com
ISSN 0038-822X

Sports Illustrated is an American sports magazine owned by Meredith Corporation. First published in August 1954, it has over 3 million subscribers and is read by 23 million people each week, including over 18 million men.[3]

It was the first magazine with circulation over one million to win the National Magazine Award for General Excellence twice. It is also known for its annual swimsuit issue, which has been published since 1964, and has spawned other complementary media works and products.

History[edit]

There were two magazines named Sports Illustrated before the current magazine began on August 16, 1954.[4] In 1936, Stuart Scheftel created Sports Illustrated with a target market for the sportsman. He published the magazine from 1936 to 1938 on a monthly basis. The magazine was a life magazine size and focused on golf, tennis, and skiing with articles on the major sports. He then sold the name to Dell Publications, which released Sports Illustrated in 1949 and this version lasted 6 issues before closing. Dell's version focused on major sports (baseball, basketball, boxing) and competed on magazine racks against Sport and other monthly sports magazines. During the 1940s these magazines were monthly and they did not cover the current events because of the production schedules. There was no large-base, general, weekly sports magazine with a national following on actual active events. It was then that Time patriarch Henry Luce began considering whether his company should attempt to fill that gap. At the time, many believed sports was beneath the attention of serious journalism and did not think sports news could fill a weekly magazine, especially during the winter. A number of advisers to Luce, including Life magazine's Ernest Havemann, tried to kill the idea, but Luce, who was not a sports fan, decided the time was right.[5]

The goal of the new magazine was to be basically a magazine, but with sports. Many at Time-Life scoffed at Luce's idea; in his Pulitzer Prize–winning biography, Luce and His Empire, W. A. Swanberg wrote that the company's intellectuals dubbed the proposed magazine "Muscle", "Jockstrap", and "Sweat Socks". Launched on August 16, 1954, it was not profitable (and would not be so for 12 years)[6] and not particularly well run at first, but Luce's timing was good. The popularity of spectator sports in the United States was about to explode, and that popularity came to be driven largely by three things: economic prosperity, television, and Sports Illustrated.[7]

Mark Ford, President of the Sports Illustrated Group in 2010
The Logo of Sports Illustrated Magazine

The early issues of the magazine seemed caught between two opposing views of its audience. Much of the subject matter was directed at upper-class activities such as yachting, polo and safaris, but upscale would-be advertisers were unconvinced that sports fans were a significant part of their market.[8]

After more than a decade of steady losses, the magazine's fortunes finally turned around in the 1960s when Andre Laguerre became its managing editor. A European correspondent for Time, Inc., who later became chief of the Time-Life news bureaux in Paris and London (for a time he ran both simultaneously), Laguerre attracted Henry Luce's attention in 1956 with his singular coverage of the Winter Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, which became the core of SI's coverage of those games. In May 1956, Luce brought Laguerre to New York to become assistant managing editor of the magazine. He was named managing editor in 1960, and he more than doubled the circulation by instituting a system of departmental editors, redesigning the internal format,[9] and inaugurating the unprecedented use in a news magazine of full-color photographic coverage of the week's sports events. He was also one of the first to sense the rise of national interest in professional football.[10]

Laguerre also instituted the innovative concept of one long story at the end of every issue, which he called the "bonus piece". These well-written, in-depth articles helped to distinguish Sports Illustrated from other sports publications, and helped launch the careers of such legendary writers as Frank Deford, who in March 2010 wrote of Laguerre, "He smoked cigars and drank Scotch and made the sun move across the heavens ... His genius as an editor was that he made you want to please him, but he wanted you to do that by writing in your own distinct way."[11]

Laguerre is also credited with the conception and creation of the annual Swimsuit Issue, which quickly became, and remains, the most popular issue each year.

In 1990, Time Inc. merged with Warner Communications to form the media conglomerate Time Warner. In 2014, Time Inc. was spun off from Time Warner. In November 2017, Meredith Corporation announced that it would acquire Time Inc., and the acquisition was completed in January 2018. However, in March 2018, Meredith stated that it would explore selling Sports Illustrated and several other former Time properties, arguing that they did not properly align with the company's lifestyle brands and publications.[12]

Innovations[edit]

From its start, Sports Illustrated introduced a number of innovations that are generally taken for granted today:

  • Liberal use of color photos—though the six-week lead time initially meant they were unable to depict timely subject matter
  • Scouting reports—including a World Series Preview and New Year's Day bowl game round-up that enhanced the viewing of games on television
  • In-depth sports reporting from writers like Robert Creamer, Tex Maule and Dan Jenkins.
  • Regular illustration features by artists like Robert Riger.
  • High school football Player of the Month awards.
  • Inserts of sports cards in the center of the magazine (1954 & 1955)
  • 1994 Launched Sports Illustrated Interactive CD-ROM with StarPress Multimedia, Incorporates player stats, video and highlights from the year in sports.
  • In 2015 Sports Illustrated purchased a group of software companies and combined them to create Sports Illustrated Play, a platform that offers sports league management software as a service.

Color printing[edit]

In 1965, offset printing began to allow the color pages of the magazine to be printed overnight, not only producing crisper and brighter images, but also finally enabling the editors to merge the best color with the latest news. By 1967, the magazine was printing 200 pages of "fast color" a year; in 1983, SI became the first American full-color newsweekly. An intense rivalry developed between photographers, particularly Walter Iooss and Neil Leifer, to get a decisive cover shot that would be on newsstands and in mailboxes only a few days later.[13]

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, during Gil Rogin's term as Managing Editor, the feature stories of Frank Deford became the magazine's anchor. "Bonus pieces" on Pete Rozelle, Woody Hayes, Bear Bryant, Howard Cosell and others became some of the most quoted sources about these figures, and Deford established a reputation as one of the best writers of the time.[14]

Regular segments[edit]

  • Who's Hot, Who's Not: A feature on who's on a tear and who's in a slump.
  • Faces in the Crowd: honors talented amateur athletes and their accomplishments.
  • The Point After: A back-page column featuring a rotation of SI writers as well as other contributors. Content varies from compelling stories to challenging opinion, focusing on both the world of sports and the role sports play in society.

Awards[edit]

Performer of the Year[edit]

Maya Moore of the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx was the inaugural winner of the Sports Illustrated Performer of the Year Award in 2017.[15]

Sportsperson of the Year[edit]

Since 1954, Sports Illustrated magazine has annually presented the Sportsperson of the Year award to "the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement."[16][17] Roger Bannister won the first-ever Sportsman of the Year award thanks to his record breaking time of 3:59.4 for a mile (the first-ever time a mile had been run under four minutes).[16][18] Both men and women have won the award, originally called "Sportsman of the Year" and renamed "Sportswoman of the Year" or "Sportswomen of the Year" when applicable; it is currently known as "Sportsperson of the Year."

The 2017 winners of the award are Houston Texans defensive end, J. J. Watt, and Houston Astros second baseman, José Altuve.[19] Both athletes were recognized for their efforts in helping rebuild the city of Houston following Hurricane Harvey in addition to Altuve being a part of the Astros team that won the franchise's first World Series in 2017.[20]

Sportsman of the Century[edit]

Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Century Muhammad Ali

In 1999, Sports Illustrated named Muhammad Ali the Sportsman of the Century at the Sports Illustrated's 20th Century Sports Awards in New York City's Madison Square Garden.[21]

Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award[edit]

In 2015, the magazine renamed its Sportsman Legacy Award to the Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. The annual award was originally created in 2008 and honors former "sports figures who embody the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy as vehicles for changing the world." Ali first appeared on the magazine's cover in 1963 and went on to be featured on numerous covers during his storied career. His widow, Lonnie Ali, is consulted when choosing a recipient.[22] In 2017, football quarterback Colin Kaepernick was honored with the Award, which was presented by Beyoncé.[23]

All-decade awards and honors[edit]

Top sports colleges[edit]

For a 2002 list of the top 200 Division I sports colleges in the U.S., see footnote[25]

Cover history[edit]

The following list contains the athletes with most covers.[26]

The magazine's cover is the basis of a sports myth known as the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx.

Most covers by athlete, 1954–2016

Athlete Sport Number of covers
Michael Jordan Basketball 50
Muhammad Ali Boxing 40
LeBron James Basketball 25
Tiger Woods Golf 24
Magic Johnson Basketball 23
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Basketball 22
Tom Brady Football 20

Most covers by team, 1954 – May 2008

Team Sport Number of covers
Los Angeles Lakers Basketball 67
New York Yankees Baseball 65
St. Louis Cardinals Baseball 49
Dallas Cowboys Football 48
Boston Red Sox Baseball 46
Chicago Bulls Basketball 45
Boston Celtics Basketball 44
Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball 40
Cincinnati Reds Baseball 37
San Francisco 49ers Football 33

Most covers by sport, 1954–2009

Sport Number of covers
Baseball-MLB 628
Pro Football-NFL 550
Pro Basketball-NBA 325
College Football 202
College Basketball 181
Golf 155
Boxing 134
Hockey 100
Track and Field 99
Tennis 78

Celebrities on the cover, 1954–2010

Celebrity Year Special notes
Gary Cooper 1959 Scuba diving
Bob Hope 1963 Owner of Cleveland Indians
Shirley MacLaine 1964 Promoting the film John Goldfarb, Please Come Home
Steve McQueen 1971 Riding a motorcycle
Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson 1977 Promoting the film Semi-Tough
Big Bird 1977 On the cover with Mark Fidrych
Arnold Schwarzenegger 1987 Caption on cover was Softies
Chris Rock 2000 Wearing Los Angeles Dodgers hat
Stephen Colbert 2009 Caption: Stephen Colbert and his Nation save the Olympics
Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale 2010 Promoting the film The Fighter
Brad Pitt 2011 Promoting the film Moneyball

Fathers and sons who have been featured on the cover

Father Son(s)
Archie Manning Peyton & Eli Manning
Calvin Hill Grant Hill
Bobby Hull Brett Hull
Bill Walton Luke Walton
Jack Nicklaus Gary Nicklaus
Phil Simms Chris Simms
Dale Earnhardt Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Cal Ripken, Sr. Cal Ripken, Jr. & Billy Ripken
Mark McGwire Matt McGwire
Drew Brees Baylen Brees
Boomer Esiason Gunnar Esiason
Chuck Liddell Cade Liddell

Presidents who have been featured on the cover

President SI cover date Special notes
John F. Kennedy December 26, 1960 First Lady Jackie Kennedy also on cover and Kennedy was President-Elect at the time of the cover.
Gerald Ford July 8, 1974 Cover came one month before President Richard Nixon announced he would resign from the Presidency.
Ronald Reagan November 26, 1984 On cover with Georgetown Hoyas basketball coach John Thompson and Patrick Ewing
Ronald Reagan February 16, 1987 On cover with America's Cup champion Dennis Conner
Bill Clinton March 21, 1994 On cover about the Arkansas college basketball team

Tribute covers (In Memoriam)

Athlete SI cover date Special notes
Len Bias June 30, 1986 Died of a cocaine overdose just after being drafted by the Boston Celtics
Arthur Ashe February 15, 1993 Tennis great and former US Open champion who died from AIDS after a blood transfusion
Reggie Lewis August 9, 1993 Celtics player who died due to a heart defect
Mickey Mantle August 21, 1995 Died after years of battling alcoholism
Walter Payton November 8, 1999 Died from rare liver disorder
Dale Earnhardt February 26, 2001 Died in a crash on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
Brittanie Cecil April 1, 2002 Fan killed as the result of being struck with a puck to the head while in the crowd at a Columbus Blue Jackets game
Ted Williams July 15, 2002 Boston Red Sox who died of cardiac arrest
Johnny Unitas September 23, 2002 Baltimore Colts great who died from heart attack
Pat Tillman May 3, 2004 Arizona Cardinals player who was killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan.
Ed Thomas July 6, 2009 Parkersburg, Iowa high school football coach that was gunned down by one of his former players on the morning of June 24, 2009.
John Wooden June 14, 2010 UCLA Basketball coaching legend who died of natural causes at 99 years of age.
Junior Seau May 2, 2012 NFL Hall of Fame linebacker who committed suicide at 43 years of age

Writers[edit]

Photographers[edit]

Spinoffs[edit]

Sports Illustrated has helped launched a number of related publishing ventures, including:

  • Sports Illustrated Kids magazine (circulation 950,000)
    • Launched in January 1989
    • Won the "Distinguished Achievement for Excellence in Educational Publishing" award 11 times
    • Won the "Parents' Choice Magazine Award" 7 times
  • Sports Illustrated Almanac annuals
    • Introduced in 1991
    • Yearly compilation of sports news and statistics in book form
  • SI.com sports news web site
  • Sports Illustrated Australia
    • Launched in 1992 and lasted 6 issues **
  • Sports Illustrated Canada
    • Was created and published in Canada with US content from 1993 to 1995. Most of the issues appear to have the same cover except they say 'Canadian Edition'. These issues are numbered differently in the listing. A group of the Canadian issues have unique Canadian athletes (hockey mostly) and all the Canadian issues may have some different article content. The advertising may also be Canada-centric.
  • Sports Illustrated Presents
    • Launched in 1989
    • This is their tribute and special edition issues that are sold both nationally or regionally as stand alone products. **Originally started with Super Bowl Tributes the product became a mainstay in 1993 with Alabama as the NCAA National Football Champions. Today multiple issues are released including regional releases of the NCAA, NBA, NFL, MLB champions along with special events or special people. Advertising deals are also done with Sports Illustrated Presents (Kelloggs).
  • CNNSI.com a 24-hour sports news web site
    • Launched on July 17, 1997
    • Online version of the magazine
    • The domain name was sold in May 2015[29]
  • Sports Illustrated Women magazine (highest circulation 400,000)
    • Launched in March 2000
    • Ceased publication in December 2002 because of a weak advertising climate
  • Sports Illustrated on Campus magazine
    • Launched on September 4, 2003
    • Dedicated to college athletics and the sports interests of college students.
    • Distributed free on 72 college campuses through a network of college newspapers.
    • Circulation of one million readers between the ages of 18 and 24.
    • Ceased publication in December 2005 because of a weak advertising climate

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Sports Illustrated Photography Director: Brad Smith". nppa.org. 28 February 2013. Archived from the original on 20 June 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Consumer Magazines". Alliance for Audited Media. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  3. ^ Plunkett, Jack W. (2006). Plunkett's Sports Industry Almanac 2007. Plunkett Research, Ltd. ISBN 1593924151.
  4. ^ French, Alex (August 9, 2013). "The Very First Issues of 19 Famous Magazines". Mental Floss. London, England: Dennis Publishing. Archived from the original on August 10, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  5. ^ (MacCambridge 1997, pp. 17–25).
  6. ^ "Henry Luce and Time-Life's America: A Vision of Empire". American Masters, 28 April 2004.
  7. ^ MacCambridge, Michael (1998). The Franchise: A History of Sports Illustrated Magazine. Hyperion. ISBN 9780786883578. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02.
  8. ^ (MacCambridge 1997, pp. 6, 27, 42).
  9. ^ "Designer Swimwear". Archived from the original on 2015-02-14.
  10. ^ Sutton, Kelso F. (January 29, 1979). "Letter From The Publisher". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011.
  11. ^ Deford, Frank: "Sometimes the Bear Eats You: Confessions of a Sportswriter". Sports Illustrated, March 29, 2010 pp. 52–62.
  12. ^ Gold, Brian Stelter and Hadas Gold. "Meredith is putting Sports Illustrated and Time magazines on the block". CNNMoney. Archived from the original on 2018-03-29. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  13. ^ (MacCambridge 1997, pp. 108–111, 139–141, 149–151, 236)
  14. ^ (MacCambridge 1997, pp. 236–238).
  15. ^ Kolur, Nihal (November 29, 2017). "Minnesota Lynx Star Maya Moore Wins Sports Illustrated's Performer of the Year Award". Time Inc. Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 30, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Sportsmen of the Year 1954–2008". Sports Illustrated. December 8, 2008. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  17. ^ Brinson, Will (December 15, 2013). "'Sports Illustrated' names Peyton Manning its Sportsman of the Year". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  18. ^ Holland, Gerald (January 3, 1955). "1954 & Its Sportsman: Roger Bannister". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  19. ^ "SI's 2017 Sportsperson of the Year: J.J. Watt, José Altuve". SI.com. Archived from the original on 2018-03-22. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  20. ^ "How the Astros stuck together to become World Series champions". SI.com. Archived from the original on 2018-03-21. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  21. ^ "Sports Illustrated honors world's greatest athletes". CNN. December 3, 1999. Archived from the original on August 19, 2011.
  22. ^ SI Wire "SI dedicates Sportsman of the Year Legacy Award to Muhammad Ali", Sports Illustrated, September 25, 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  23. ^ Rosenberg, Michael Sports illustrated, November 30, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  24. ^ Kelly, Greg. Sports Illustrated: The Covers. New York: Sports Illustrated Books, 2010. Print.
  25. ^ "America's Best Sports Colleges". Sports Illustrated. October 7, 2002. Archived from the original on January 1, 2006. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  26. ^ "Registered & Protected by MarkMonitor". vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  27. ^ Robert Smithies, "Through a lens lightly Archived 2016-03-13 at the Wayback Machine." (obituary of Finlayson), The Guardian, 27 February 1999. Accessed 16 February 2013.
  28. ^ Search results for Finlayson, Sports Illustrated archive. Accessed 17 February 2013.
  29. ^ Silver, Elliot. "CNNSi.com Sells for $5,500". DomainInvesting.com. DomainInvesting.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2016.

References[edit]

  • MacCambridge, Michael (1997), The Franchise: A History of Sports Illustrated Magazine, Hyperion Press, ISBN 0-7868-6216-5.
  • Fleder, Rob (2005), Sports Illustrated 50: The Anniversary Book, Time Inc., ISBN 1-932273-49-2.
  • Regli, Philip (1998), The Collectors Guide to Sports Illustrated and Sports Publications, Beckett, ISBN 1-887432-49-3.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]