Sports Illustrated (SI) 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.
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.
|Editorial Director||Chris Stone|
Managing Editor SI.com: Stephen Cannella
'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
|First issue||August 16, 1954|
|Based in||New York, USA|
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The following list contains the athletes with most covers.
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 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|
Sports Illustrated has helped launched a number of related publishing ventures, including:
The 2006 College Football All-America Team is composed of the following All-American Teams: Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, Pro Football Weekly, CBS Sports, ESPN, College Football News, Rivals.com, and Scout.com.
The College Football All-America Team is an honor given annually to the best American college football players at their respective positions. The original usage of the term All-America seems to have been to such a list selected by football pioneer Walter Camp in the 1890s. The NCAA officially recognizes All-Americans selected by the AP, AFCA, FWAA, TSN, and the WCFF to determine Consensus All-Americans.2007 College Football All-America Team
The 2007 College Football All-America Team is composed of the following All-American Teams: Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, Pro Football Weekly, ESPN, CBS Sports, College Football News, Rivals.com, and Scout.com. The College Football All-America Team is an honor given annually to the best American college football players at their respective positions. The original usage of the term All-America seems to have been to such a list selected by football pioneer Walter Camp in the 1890s. The NCAA officially recognizes All-Americans selected by the AP, AFCA, FWAA, TSN, and the WCFF to determine Consensus and Unanimous All-Americans.Barbara Palvin
Barbara Palvin (pronounced [ˈbɒrbɒrɒ ˈpɒlvin]; born 8 October 1993) is a Hungarian model. She was the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue "Rookie of the Year". In 2019, she became a Victoria’s Secret Angel.Brooklyn Decker
Brooklyn Danielle Decker Roddick (born April 12, 1987) 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, and later starred in Battleship and What to Expect When You're Expecting. Decker is married to former tennis player Andy Roddick.CNN Sports Illustrated
CNN/Sports Illustrated (CNN/SI) was a 24-hour sports news network. It was created by Time Warner, bringing together its CNN and Sports Illustrated brands and related resources. It was launched on December 12, 1996.CNN/SI aimed to provide the most comprehensive sports news service on television, bringing in-depth sports news from around the world, and integrating the Internet and television. Unlike ESPNews, which provided 30-minute blocks of news and highlights, CNN/SI concentrated on "in-depth" and the "flow" of the news reporting. It was live every day from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.Camille Kostek
Camille Veronica Kostek (born February 19, 1992) is an American entertainment reporter and model known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and advertising campaigns for Reebok.Chrissy Teigen
Christine Diane Teigen (; born November 30, 1985) is an American model and author who made her debut in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2010 and, alongside Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge, appeared on the cover in 2014. She formerly was a part of the lifestyle panel talk show FABLife and currently co-hosts Lip Sync Battle with LL Cool J on Paramount Network.Dan Jenkins
Daniel Thomas Jenkins (December 2, 1928 – March 7, 2019) was an American author and sportswriter who often wrote for Sports Illustrated.ESPN The Magazine
ESPN The Magazine is a 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.The main sports covered include Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, college basketball, and college football. The magazine typically takes a more lighthearted and humorous approach to sporting news compared with competitors such as Sports Illustrated and, previously, the Sporting News.Irina Shayk
Irina Valeryevna Shaykhlislamova (Russian: Ири́на Вале́рьевна Шайхлисла́мова; born 6 January 1986) is a Russian model. Shayk received international recognition in 2007 when she became the exclusive contracted face of Intimissimi lingerie. She appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and was also the first Russian model to grace its cover in 2011. Models.com ranks her as an "Industry Icon".Joanne Gair
Joanne "Kiwi Jo" or "Kiwi Joe" Gair (born c. 1958) 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 the most recent edition. She is considered the world's leading trompe-l'œil body painter and make-up artist, and she became famous with a Vanity Fair Demi'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.In addition to achieving pop culture prominence and respect in the fashion and art worlds starting with her body painting of Demi Moore, she is an award-winning make-up artist in the rock and roll world who has helped several of her music clients win fashion and style awards. She is also considered a fashion and art trendsetter, and for a long time she was associated with Madonna. In 2001, she had her first retrospective and in 2005, she published her first book on body painting. At the peak of her pop culture fame after the Vanity Fair cover, she was seriously considered for an Absolut Vodka Absolute Gair ad campaign. She has done magazine editorial work, and in 2005, she became a photographer of her own body paintings in both books and magazines.Kate Upton
Katherine Elizabeth Upton (born June 10, 1992) is an American model and actress. Upton was named the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Rookie of the Year following her appearance in the magazine in 2011, and was the cover model for the 2012, 2013 and 2017 issues. She was also the subject of the 100th-anniversary Vanity Fair cover. Upton has also appeared in the films Tower Heist (2011), The Other Woman (2014) and The Layover (2017).Rachel Hunter
Rachel Hunter (born 8 September 1969) is a New Zealand supermodel, actress and the host of Imagination Television's Rachel Hunter's Tour of Beauty. She has appeared on several magazine covers, including Vogue, Elle, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated,
Playboy, Cosmopolitan and Harper's Bazaar. She has been on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue twice; in 1994 and in 2006.Sports Illustrated Kids
Sports Illustrated Kids (SI Kids, trademarked Sports Illustrated KIDS, sometimes Sports Illustrated for Kids) is a monthly spin-off of the weekly U.S. sports magazine Sports Illustrated. SI Kids was launched in January 1989 and includes sports coverage with less vocabulary and more emphasis on humor. The magazine's secondary purpose is to market sports to children.
The first issue featured Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member and former Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan on the cover.Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year
Since its inception in 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." 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; it is currently known as "Sportsperson of the Year."
Tiger Woods and LeBron James are the only individuals who have received the award more than once. Woods received his first award in 1996 as an amateur golfer, and in 2000 as a professional golfer. James received his first award in 2012 and his second in 2016. They coincidentally have the same birthday, December 30th.
The trophy is a ceramic replica of an ancient Greek amphora (circa 510 BCE) which depicts nude male Hellenistic athletes engaged in a variety of athletic activities—running, discus, and javelin. It measures 8" in diameter and stands 18.5" high (20.32 x 47 cm). The original amphora was acquired by Sports Illustrated magazine in 1954 and was donated to the "Sports" collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in 1979. Winners of the award are now presented with a copy of the amphora made in silver by Tiffany & Co.Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is published annually by American magazine Sports Illustrated. The cover photograph features women fashion models wearing swimwear in exotic locales. According to some, the magazine is the arbiter of supermodel succession. The swimsuit issue of the magazine 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. The issue that got the most letters was the 1978 issue. The best selling issue was the 25th Anniversary Issue with Kathy Ireland on the cover in 1989.Through the years, many models, such as Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova, Elle Macpherson, Rachel Hunter, Rebecca Romijn, Petra Nemcova, Valeria Mazza, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, and Marisa Miller, have been featured on the cover. Other models within its pages, but not on its cover, include Cindy Crawford, Stephanie Seymour, Niki Taylor, Angie Everhart, and Naomi Campbell. The eight models featured on the cover of the 2006 issue were featured in a coffee-table book called Sports Illustrated: Exposure. Photographed by Raphael Mazzucco and produced by Diane Smith, the unprecedented "reunion shoot" featured 139 pages of previously-unpublished images. In 2006, the issue expanded publishing to handheld devices. In 2007, the swimsuit issue first became available in China.For many years, the swimsuit issue was published in February, but beginning in 2019, the issue will be made available in May.Sports Illustrated Television (Asia)
Sports Illustrated is the first and leading 24-hour sports HD network in Asia. Launched in October 1, 2009 by Yes Television, the channel was relaunched in 2016 by the newly-formed joint-venture between ASN Ltd. and Meredith Corporation (owners of the Sports Illustrated magazine).
Sports Illustrated features a wide range of sports content from the world’s biggest sport brands and is known throughout Asia as the “Home of American sports programming.” It manages 3,200 hours of licensed sports content, with exclusive Asian rights to NFL (including the Super Bowl), NHL, NCAA March Madness, NASCAR and Extreme Sports as well as exclusive game rights to certain NCAA football, NCAA basketball and other major collegiate events.Sports Illustrated reaches 11 territories – Cambodia, Laos, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Philippines.
As of 2018, the channel was no longer available in Hong Kong.Sugar Ray Leonard
Ray Charles Leonard (born May 17, 1956), best known as "Sugar" Ray Leonard, is an American former professional boxer, motivational speaker, and occasional actor. Often regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, he competed from 1977 to 1997, winning world titles in five weight divisions; the lineal championship in three weight divisions; as well as the undisputed welterweight title. Leonard was part of "The Fabulous Four", a group of boxers who all fought each other throughout the 1980s, consisting of himself, Roberto Durán, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler.
"The Fabulous Four" created a wave of popularity in the lower weight classes that kept boxing relevant in the post-Muhammad Ali era, during which Leonard defeated future fellow International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees Hearns, Durán, Hagler, and Wilfred Benítez. Leonard was also the first boxer to earn more than $100 million in purses, and was named "Boxer of the Decade" in the 1980s. The Ring magazine named him Fighter of the Year in 1979 and 1981, while the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) named him Fighter of the Year in 1976, 1979, and 1981. In 2002, Leonard was voted by The Ring as the ninth greatest fighter of the last 80 years; BoxRec ranks him as the 27th greatest boxer of all time, pound for pound.Tom Verducci
Thomas "Tom" Verducci (born October 23, 1960) is an American sportswriter who writes for Sports Illustrated and its online magazine SI.com. He writes primarily about baseball. He is also a field reporter for the MLB postseason on TBS. In addition, he appears on Hot Stove and MLB Tonight on MLB Network as a baseball insider.
|Magazines and websites|
As of June 2016