|Editorial Director||Chris Stone|
|First issue||August 16, 1954|
|Company||Authentic Brands Group|
|Based in||New York City|
Sports Illustrated (SI) is an American sports magazine owned by Authentic Brands Group, and was first published in August 1954.
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.
In 2018, the magazine was sold to Meredith Corporation by means of its acquisition of parent company Time Inc., but Meredith stated that it planned to sell Sports Illustrated as it did not align with its lifestyle properties. The following year, Meredith announced that it would sell Sports Illustrated to Authentic Brands Group. While Meredith initially planned to continue publishing its print and digital properties under license from ABG (who planned to leverage the Sports Illustrated brand in other markets), ABG later announced that it would instead give the publishing rights to theMaven, Inc.—a digital media company.
There were two magazines named Sports Illustrated before the current magazine began on August 16, 1954.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 six 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.
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)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.
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.
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,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.
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."
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.
On May 27, 2019, Authentic Brands Group announced its intent to acquire Sports Illustrated for $110 million. Authentic Brands Group will leverage its brand and other assets for new opportunities that "stay close to the DNA and the heritage of the brand." Upon announcement of the sale, it was stated that Meredith would enter into a licensing agreement to continue as publisher of the Sports Illustrated editorial operations for at least the next two years.However, on June 18, 2019, it was revealed that the rights to publish the Sports Illustrated editorial operations would be licensed to the digital media company theMaven, Inc. under a 10-year contract, with Ross Levinsohn as CEO. The company had backed a bid by Junior Bridgeman to acquire SI.
On October 1, 2019, editor-in-chief Chris Stone stepped down.On October 2, 2019, in preparation for the closure of the sale to ABG and Maven, The Wall Street Journal reported that Maven was preparing to lay off over 40 Sports Illustrated employees, with an intent to have their roles filled by contracted writers. The next day, ABG and Meredith confirmed that the acquisition had closed, with Meredith stating that staff cuts had been made. On October 29, it announced its hiring of veteran college sports writer Pat Forde.
From its start, Sports Illustrated introduced a number of innovations that are generally taken for granted today:
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.
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.
Maya Moore of the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx was the inaugural winner of the Sports Illustrated Performer of the Year Award in 2017.
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."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). 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.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.
The 2018 winners were the Golden State Warriors as a team for winning their third NBA Title in four years.
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.
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.In 2017, football quarterback Colin Kaepernick was honored with the Award, which was presented by Beyoncé. In 2018, WWE professional wrestler John Cena was honored with the award.
The following list contains the athletes with most covers.
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|
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|
|Boston Red Sox||Baseball||46|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Baseball||40|
|San Francisco 49ers||Football||33|
Most covers by sport, 1954–2009
|Sport||Number of covers|
|Track and Field||99|
Celebrities on the cover, 1954–2010
|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
|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 great 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 turned U.S. soldier who was killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan.|
|Ed Thomas||July 6, 2009||Parkersburg, Iowa high school football coach who 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||Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker who committed suicide at 43 years of age|
Sports Illustrated has helped launched a number of related publishing ventures, including:
Time is an American weekly news magazine and news website published in New York City. It was founded in 1923 and for many years it was run by its influential co-founder Henry Luce. A European edition is published in London and also covers the Middle East, Africa, and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong. The South Pacific edition, which covers Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, is based in Sydney. In December 2008, Time discontinued publishing a Canadian advertiser edition.
Fortune is an American multinational business magazine headquartered in New York City. It is published by Fortune Media Group Holdings, owned by Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon. The publication was founded by Henry Luce in 1929. The magazine competes with Forbes and Bloomberg Businessweek in the national business magazine category and distinguishes itself with long, in-depth feature articles.
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Since its inception in 1954, Sports Illustrated magazine has annually presented the Sportsman of the Year award to "the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement." Both Americans and non-Americans are eligible, though in the past the vast majority of winners have been from the United States. 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.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is published annually by American magazine Sports Illustrated and features female fashion models, celebrities and athletes wearing swimwear in various locales around the world. The highly coveted cover photograph has been considered as the arbiter of supermodel succession. The issue carries advertising that, in 2005 amounted to US$35 million in value. First published in 1964, it is credited with making the bikini, invented in 1946, a legitimate piece of apparel.
Sports Illustrated Women and also known as SI Women, was a bimonthly sports magazine covering "the sports that women play and what they want to follow, from basketball to tennis, soccer to volleyball, field hockey to ice hockey and figure skating and more. It featured real athletes, told their real stories and gave the real scoop on women's sports. Sports Illustrated for Women was published by Time Inc." It ran for 20 issues, between March 2000 and November 2002, targeting an audience of women, 18–34 years old, with "a passion for sports".
ESPN The Magazine is a defunct monthly sports magazine published by the ESPN sports network in Bristol, Connecticut, in the United States. The first issue was published on March 11, 1998. Initially published every other week, it scaled back to 24 issues a year in early 2016, then became a monthly in its later days.
Benjamin Franklin Deford III was an American sportswriter and novelist. From 1980 until his death in 2017, he was a regular sports commentator on NPR's Morning Edition radio program.
Anna Sergeyevna "Anne" Vyalitsyna, also known as Anne V, is a Russian-American model best known for her 10-consecutive-year appearances (2005–2014) in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Time Inc. was an American worldwide mass media corporation founded on November 28, 1922, by Henry Luce and Briton Hadden and based in New York City. It owned and published over 100 magazine brands, including its namesake Time, Sports Illustrated, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Fortune, People, InStyle, Life, Golf Magazine, Southern Living, Essence, Real Simple, and Entertainment Weekly. It also had subsidiaries which it co-operated with the UK magazine house Time Inc. UK, whose major titles include What's on TV, NME, Country Life, and Wallpaper. Time Inc. also co-operated over 60 websites and digital-only titles including MyRecipes, Extra Crispy, TheSnug, HelloGiggles, and MIMI.
Brooklyn Danielle Decker Roddick is an American model and actress best known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, including the cover of the 2010 issue. In addition to working for Victoria's Secret for the 2010 "Swim" collection, she has ventured into television with guest appearances on Chuck, Ugly Betty, The League, and Royal Pains. She made her feature film debut in Just Go with It (2011), and later starred in Battleship (2012) and What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012).
Irina Valeryevna Shaykhlislamova, known as Irina Shayk, is a Russian model who received international recognition when she appeared on the cover of the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Models.com ranks her as an "Industry Icon".
Hannah Jeter is an U.S. Virgin Islands model and television host best known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, including the cover of the 2015 edition.
Joanne "Kiwi Jo" or "Kiwi Joe" Gair is a New Zealand-born and raised make-up artist and body painter whose body paintings have been featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue from 1999 to 2017. She is considered the world's leading trompe-l'œil body painter and make-up artist, and she became famous with a Vanity FairDemi's Birthday Suit cover of Demi Moore in a body painting in 1992. Her Disappearing Model was featured on the highest rated episode of Ripley's Believe It or Not. She is the daughter of George Gair.
Marc André Laguerre was a journalist and magazine editor, best known as the managing editor of Sports Illustrated from 1960 to 1974, during which time he oversaw the growth in the magazine from a niche publication to become the industry leader in weekly sports magazines. It was under his leadership that the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue was first published. When he retired in 1974, he had been managing editor of the magazine for 704 issues, then a record among magazines published by Time, Inc., SI's parent company.
"SportsKid of the Year" was introduced by Sports Illustrated magazine after the highly successful Sportsman of the Year award was introduced in 1954. The "SportsKid of the Year" award honors a young athlete, ages seven to 15, for superior performance on the field, in the classroom and service in the community.
Katherine Elizabeth Upton is an American model and actress. She first appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2011, and was the cover model for the 2012, 2013 and 2017 issues. In addition, she was the subject of the 100th-anniversary Vanity Fair cover.
Danielle Nicole Herrington is an American model known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, including the cover of 2018 edition where she became the third African-American woman to appear on the cover— after Tyra Banks (1997) and Beyonce (2007).
Camille Veronica Kostek is an American model, actress, and host. She first gained recognition for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and came to international prominence after landing a solo cover with the magazine in 2019.
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