The Association of Magazine Media

Time Inc. Sports Properties Enjoy Stellar First Half

For Immediate Release

Contact: Scott Novak

212 522-2687;scott_novak@timeinc.com

 

Time Inc. Sports Properties Enjoy Stellar First Half with Across-the-Board Milestones, Franchise Launches and Groundbreaking Editorial

 

New York, NY  --  Time Inc.’s sports properties, including Sports Illustrated, SI Swimsuit and Golf multiplatform franchises, closed out the first half of 2013 with significant momentum highlighted by y-o-y newsstand growth (SI +9% units sold; SI Swim +7% units sold), ad page increases (Golf +6%; SI Swim +25% (PIB)), breakthrough sponsorships (Target, Ford, Symetra) and an expanded digital footprint (SI Digital +13% unique visitors Golf.com +11% UVs (comScore)); SI Swim +24% UVs, (Omniture). The strong numbers were underlined by groundbreaking journalism and the launch of several new editorial franchises resulting in a strong first half for the Time Inc. titles.

 

“An innovative, entrepreneurial spirit runs through our entire organization and we’re seeing it come to life with new editorial products, digital extensions and customized marketing programs,” said Mark Ford, President, Time Inc. Sports Group.  “With aggressive development we’ve been able to reach new audiences, which has both increased our footprint and led us into new advertising categories. We will continue to expand our frontiers across all media channels in the weeks and months ahead.”

 

The May 6 exclusive cover story by NBA center Jason Collins, in which he became the first male athlete in a major American professional team sport to announce he was gay, was one of the landmark moments in Sports Illustrated history. Upon its release on SI.com, the story generated global attention and was responsible for the single-best traffic day in SI.com history: 3.7mm UVs, including record mobile traffic 740K UVs (Omniture).  Other first-half 2013 magazine highlights include quickly adapting to the Boston Marathon breaking news and pulling together the cover package “Boston, In Words and Pictures,” which earned critical acclaim. Moreover, in the wake of his second NBA Championship, LeBron James sat down exclusively with SI’s Lee Jenkins and described his “MJ Moment.”

 

“I’m gratified at the way our new, fully integrated editorial team has come together in such a short period of time to produce memorable and historic journalism,” said Paul Fichtenbaum, Editor of the Time Inc. Sports Group.  “Creativity is flowing across platforms in a way it had never before, and the results speak for themselves.” Fichtenbaum was appointed Editorial Director of the Time Inc. Sports Group in August 2012, and was promoted to Group Editor two months later. He was responsible for naming Matt Bean as SI.com Managing Editor (August 2012); Chris Stone as the magazine’s 10th Managing Editor (October 2012); elevating Chris Hercik to Group Creative Director (October 2012) and David Clarke as Editor of the SI Golf Group (January 2013); and hiring Brad Smith as SI’s Director of Photography (March 2013).

 

In the first half of 2013 there have been y-o-y increases in SI newsstand (+9%), SI Digital comScore traffic (+13%) and an eye-popping +133% spike in SI.com mobile traffic (Omniture).  It’s important to note that these gains have been realized despite the unspooling of SI from its traffic partnership with CNN, which began in January.  In the months since, SI’s typed/bookmarked traffic increased by 26% (Omniture), clearly pointing to increasing interest in SI edit. In addition, the debut of new franchises SI Swim Daily and Extra Mustard have been critical and commercial successes; the two verticals combine to generate more than 4mm UVs and 50MM PVs/month (Omniture) and  Schick became the first multiplatform Extra Mustard sponsor.  The recent successful launch of TheMMQB.com, edited by Peter King and devoted to all things NFL, is off to a great start with fans and sponsors alike as Bose, Gillette Clear Gel antiperspirant/deodorant and Windows 8  were onboard for the site’s launch. 

 

June 3 marked the debut of SI Now powered by Ford – Time Inc.’s first live, daily talk show, which airs on SI.com and is SI’s fourth live production this year (SI Swimsuit Live from Las Vegas, college basketball tournament preview and NFL draft specials). SI Now is already attracting A-list guests to the new Time Inc. studio and driving the sports conversation. In addition, SI recently launched Rising Stars, a multiplatform editorial franchise sponsored by Symetra that features a 25 part video series spotlighting breakthrough athletes. In September, SI Now will be complemented by a new football focused show also on SI.com. These launches are also part of Time Inc.’s company-wide commitment to growing digital video offerings across its portfolio.

 

The SI Golf Group’s robust portfolio of cutting-edge platforms is also reaching more fans and marketers. Through the first half of the year, Golf’s ad pages were up 6% and Golf.com comScore traffic up 11% (the latter after also unspooling from CNN). Among the factors driving more ad pages is the Group’s full complement of high-quality platforms, which includes the monthly print issue, a sleek Golf magazine app (which claimed Time Inc’s Luce Award for best magazine app), SI Golf Plus, golf.com, Golf.com mobile and live events. As with SI, video is building momentum for the Golf franchise, as evidenced by the U.S. Open live post-round coverage and the recent debut of the New Legends of Golf  video series. Sponsored by Kia, this edit feature asks greats of the game to identify who they believe will be the next generation of tour stars. 

 

Finally, who can forget the 2013 edition of SI  Swimsuit, which set across-the-board milestones on the strength of the epic undertaking to shoot on all seven continents including the fashion industry’s first-ever production in Antarctica.  This jaw-dropping editorial combined with the franchise’s most expansive cross-platform digital launch ever – new website, mobile platform, and SwimDaily blog – drew global attention and critical raves. This resulted in y-o-y growth at newsstand (+7%), SI.com/Swimsuit superlatives such as +24% in UVs, +79% in PVs and +32% in visits during its launch period (Omniture). A hit with advertisers, the Swimsuit issue garnered its most ad pages since 2008, with marketers Target, Lexus and Cover Girl leading the way with groundbreaking programs. 

 

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Date: 
Monday, August 12, 2013