For the first time ever, fans of Sports Illustrated’s official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SportsIllustrated) had the opportunity to submit their photos for the chance to land on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The Sports Illustrated Cover Challenge allowed fans to submit their own photos demonstrating team spirit and unbridled school passion. Sports Illustrated editors selected a Final Four among the entries and included them on this week’s annual NCAA Tournament Preview cover, that hits newsstands today.
For nearly 60 years the cover of Sports Illustrated has defined the story of the day in sports. Upon its release, the iconic cover image stirs a spectrum of passionate dialog, debate, celebration, criticism and for those who believe in jinxes, fear.
The annual NCAA Tournament preview issue, one of the most anticipated issues of the year, features a collection of players, mascots and fans from all 68 men’s teams and the top women’s teams. In years past, the photos have always been captured by the capable cameras of Sports Illustrated photographers, until now.
“In December, for the first time ever, Sports Illustrated allowed fans to make the editorial selection of our iconic cover,” said Mark Mravic, assistant managing editor, Sports Illustrated. “Now, we took it a step further, by providing fans the opportunity to actually put themselves on the cover.”
The winners are:
UNC baby: Scott McKellar’s infant son Jack McKellar
Michigan Wolverine: Dan Mickelson
Memphis cheerleader: Chris Smith’s daughter Aniston Smith
Baylor fan: Dean Sandifer
See if you can find their photos on this week’s cover here
ALSO PREMIERING IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE:
Beginning today, the Sports Illustrated Magazine app for smartphones adds groundbreaking technology that combines a universal scan tool capable of reading all print-to-mobile-action codes and an enhanced augmented print viewer into one device. This technological enhancement coincides with today’s debut of the Sports Illustrated Magazine app for the iPhone. Previously, the Sports Illustrated Magazine smartphone app was available exclusively for Android smartphones.
This new technology is on full display with the SI NCAA Basketball Tournament Preview set to hit newsstands today. Readers can use their smartphone to scan the cover gatefold in order to view six computer-generated images “floating” over the cover image collage. Those images are clickable and will launch exclusive videos including one which announces Sports Illustrated’s College Basketball Players of the Year and another announcing SI’s Coaches of the Year. Additional videos include: SI Senior Writer Seth Davis’ providing an NCAA Tournament preview; a compilation of fan videos; SI’s stories of the year and a feature on great moments from the 2011-12 season.
“So often the conversation about technology revolves around new devices. What we’re really excited about is the potential to use technology to bring print pages to life in surprising ways,” said Terry McDonell, Time Inc. Sports Group Editor.
Read more about it here
As you can tell by this week’s cover and the images inside the magazine the NBA playoffs look different through the lenses of SI photographers. Director of photography Steve Fine will tell you that “what makes us different is our use of remote cameras to capture the action from unique angles. Also, in a world of medium focal lengths, we go long and tight or short and wide to bring a different perspective to the game.” There is also the fire power. SI photographers shot 26,140 pictures over the first six games of the NBA conference finals this week, 14,341 through the first eight games of the NHL conference finals and 1,723 at the Preakness, with different angles at every turn. To make more of this work available to fans on the iPhone or Android smartphone, SI has developed BIG TICKET (available on the Apple App Store or Android Market for 99 cents), which shows off SI’s photography from the world’s biggest sporting events.
Glowing as it does on the backlit glass screens, photography also lifts the SI iPad edition as we layer in an additional 25% to 30% of original content: This week includes an evolutionary look at the Indy 500—the cars and men (and women) who made it a spectacle of speed and danger. In February we commemorated the Super Bowl with a photo gallery of all 45 SI covers from the game; we will do the same with the NBA Finals. Such traditional content is underlined by equally strong innovation, such as GigaPans offering panoramic views of the Super Bowl that you can pinch and zoom in so tight that you can see yourself—provided you were at the game—in shockingly high definition (and look, that’s Cameron Diaz whispering in A-Rod’s ear). It will be amusing to see whom the GigaPan picks up next.
Note: This Editor’s Letter will be published in the May 30, 2011 issue of Sports Illustrated, out tomorrow.
And now, for our next number… We’re pushing the boundaries yet again this week, with the launch of Sports Illustrated Front Row, a free app that gives you the best seats in the house—at virtually every major sporting event. Here’s how it works: Download the app and follow your teams through the NCAA Tournament. Sports Illustrated’s award-winning photographers will be there, shooting every game; they’ll beam their pictures from courtside, to our crack photo editors in New York, who will curate the best of the bunch, crop them and caption them, and quickly send them off to you. You’re welcome.
For the geeks like me among you, here’s the most interesting part. Sports Illustrated Front Row is now available on virtually any device. Android phones? Check—we’re running an Adobe Air app that works across most of them. The iPhone? You bet—find Sports Illustrated Front Row at Apple’s App Store. The Samsung Galaxy and other 7-inch tablets. We’ve got you covered—hit the Android Marketplace. We’re on the iPad as well, via a cool partnership with the wizards at Flipboard, who’ve created a special channel and layout for us, complete with Tweets from our writers and other notables in the field. And finally, if you want to follow the action on your laptop or desktop, be sure to download Snapshot, our Chrome app, which will be featuring the best playoff pics of the day. This is all part and parcel of Sports Illustrated’s plan to be everywhere, and on every device imaginable. (Check out our All Access digital magazine subscription offer, if you haven’t already.)
Best of all, Sports Illustrated Front Row is the gift that keeps on giving. From The Masters to the World Series, and Wimbledon to the Super Bowl, it’s game on. Be sure to sign up for notifications and alerts after you download the app to get the heads up on our next event—and to find out when your seat is ready.
- Josh Quittner
It has become popular to poke fun at those of us who can’t keep our hands and eyes off our smartphones. We stumble into strangers on the street, trip on curbsides or walk straight into glass doors. When we get home, we ignore our significant others at the dinner table or — even worse — in the bedroom. We are glued to our magical little screens. As much as we’d love to say we could help you with your problem, we’re going to make it much worse with the release of the SI Swimsuit 2011 app for iOS and Android devices.
The SI Swimsuit 2010 app for iPhone and iPod Touch ranked first in the App Store’s Sports category and cracked the top 10 overall list for downloads, and this year’s version offers even more content and new features. Download SI Swimsuit 2011 now at no charge to sample the razor-sharp, high-resolution images and revealing videos. For a small fee ($1.99), unlock the premium version of the app and enjoy hundreds of images and dozens of videos, including exclusive never-before-seen footage (nope, not even on the Web). Every month you will be notified of new content on your app – more photos and videos for your viewing pleasure.
Among the features you will find the most useful in the app are the ability to quickly download your favorite photos and videos directly to your device for offline viewing; waiting for your train or bus just got that much easier. In addition to New features include the ability to share the app on Facebook and surf through the Twitter messages of our SI Swimsuit models.
Enjoy the apps. Just please don’t forget to watch your step.