Sports Illustrated Announces Summer Swimsuit Soiree
August event at Coney Island is part of an initiative to make SI Swimsuit a year-round franchise.
Fans looking to mingle with the stars of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue may have just gotten their wish.
Aiming to grow the popular annual issue into a year-round franchise, Sports Illustrated announced today the first-ever SI Swimsuit Summer Music & Fan Festival, a one-day event to be held August 28 at Coney Island in Brooklyn.
The ticketed festival, produced through a partnership with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment—the Brett Yormark-led group that operates the Barclays Center, Brooklyn Nets, and New York Islanders—and in conjunction with Live Nation, will feature a musical performance by a yet-undetermined artist, model appearances on the beach and boardwalk, and several other activities.
"Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is globally renowned, and we are just scratching the surface of creating fan experiences which we believe will take the franchise to a whole new level of popularity," said Rich Battista, president of the Time Inc. Entertainment & Sports Group, in a statement.
Time Inc. says the SI Swimsuit franchise reaches over 70 million fans across digital, print, social, and experiences. The annual issue is by far the most widely-read of the magazine's weekly print editions, outperforming average circulation by 15.8 percent last year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, and enjoying its own personal rate base of 3,650,000.
It's not Time Inc.'s first attempt at complementing the franchise with in-person, experiential events; February fan festivals to promote the release of the issue have been held in New York, Miami, and Nashville over the last two years.
But it is the first such festival to take place on the opposite end of the calendar, and it comes at a time when publishers are increasingly looking to boost consumer revenue by growing special-topic issues into multi-platform franchises. It's no longer the "swimsuit issue"; it's simply "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit."
Other plans to promote SI Swimsuit throughout the summer include a new video series, "Swim Unfiltered," which looks inside the day-to-day lives of the models; expanded virtual reality content; and official photoshoots broadcast on Snapchat and Facebook Live.
It's also apparently just the first project in a new partnership between Time Inc. and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which also operates the soon-to-be-opened Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, a 5,000-seat open-air amphitheater, as well as the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island and Brooklyn's Paramount Theatre, both of which are due for renovations.
"As we move ahead, we anticipate aligning BSE venues with Time Inc. properties to create unique and original live content for the greater New York City area," said Yormark in a statement.