Thursday, February 16, 2006

Finally, a Portable Super Model

Maria Sharapova, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2006

Men can never get enough of women in bikins and the annual release of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is no exception. With the release of this year's edition on February 14, Sports Illustrated estimated newstand sales to exceed 1.5 million, in addition to the magazine's 3.3 million subscribers. From this paid readership Mark Ford, the president and publisher of Sports Illustrated, estimates that an additional 60 million readers see the magazine. With one of the largest single issue readerships, it is apparent why Sports Illustrated is pairing the magazine's release with multimedia options.

For this years Swimsuit Edition, not only will it be available at newstands (for the premium price of $5.99), and on, but 8 exclusive videos have been produced to be sold through iTunes ($1.99 each). Content also has been developed for cellphones and other hand held devices through a partnership with American Greetings Interactive. The rationale behind this interactive approach according to Mr. Ford "[The Swimsuit Edition" is the mother ship of what we do. We want to leverage the power of that franchise," said Mr. Ford, "Sports Illustrated is a multimedia brand. It's a magazine, it's online, it's mobile, it's an event."

Today, many magazines have tried to immitate the Swimsuit Edition's formula. Therefore, the iconic magazine can no longer solely exist in one media. It must create a synergy between different media. In creating this synergy, the magazine must direct readers to access this content that is available. For instance Sport's Illustrated has included a unique number in each issue, which can be used on iTunes to download one free Swimsuit Edition video. The release is also expected to drive increased traffic to the website, which is where visitors can download content for their cellphones. By offering content on a variety of portable media, it allows for Sports Illustrated to keep the "wow" factor that is associated with the Swimsuit Edition. As long as there is reason to go.

Article Links:
So Many Models In Bikins, So Many Ways to See Them (Requires Registration to read)
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2006


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