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SPORTS ILLUSTRATED TO COMMEMORATE 50TH ANNIVERSARY WITH NATIONWIDE CELEBRATION OF SPORTS IN AMERICA
The Franchises Most Ambitious Initiative Will Touch All 50 States
New York, July 28, 2003 Sports Illustrated (SI) will commemorate its 50th anniversary with a dynamic, yearlong nationwide celebration of sports in America, it was announced by SI President Bruce Hallett and Managing Editor Terry McDonell.
Americas Sports Illustrated: 50 Years, 50 States, 50 Sports , a wide-ranging multimedia program, is the most ambitious initiative in the history of the franchise. The grassroots effort launched in July 2003 and continues through July 2004. (SIs official 50th anniversary date is August 16, 2004.)
The program features:
By the end of the yearlong celebration, Americas Sports Illustrated will have visited all 50 states.
Toyota is the presenting sponsor of the Tour; Starter and Best Buy are the program sponsors.
"We have had the rare privilege of documenting American sport for the past 50 years and our anniversary gives us the opportunity to celebrate the role of sports as a force for good in our country," said SI President Bruce Hallett. "During this yearlong odyssey we
want Americans to see us standing on the sidelines in all 50 states, cheering for their efforts and saluting their enormous accomplishments."
In the Magazine
SI will feature a weekly editorial section focusing on one of the 50 states. Each special section will celebrate a sport or sporting event unique to that state, as well as an accompanying essay by a well-known native or SI writer from the state and a wide range of facts, figures and photographs highlighting the most memorable moments and personalities that have defined that states sports landscape.
"Sport has always been a major catalyst in building a sense of community and nowhere in our culture have American values come together more strongly than around sports," said SI Managing Editor Terry McDonell. "Sports Illustrated will use all of its resources to present a 50-week picture of sport in America. I hope our readers will have fun with it and Im sure well hear back from them about how we profiled their home state."
The four special double issues will document the state of sports when the magazine launched in 1954 (issue date: July 14-21, 2003), feature SIs most memorable covers (November 10, 2003) and great photography (April 26, 2004), as well as highlight the current status of Sports in America (July 12-19, 2004).
On the Road
Mirroring the state-specific sections in the magazine, the Toyota Presents Sports Illustrateds 50th Anniversary Tour will touch communities nationwide by visiting many of the sporting events featured in the magazine as well as a variety of other locations.
Launched in Newport, Rhode Island, on Friday, July 11, 2003, and headed to California for a dramatic closing event in July 2004, the Tour will crisscross the country, beginning in the nations smallest state and ending in its most populous. With stops ranging from regattas and rodeos to downhill skiing and mountain biking, the Tour will reach more than 2.5 million people over the course of the year.
The grassroots sports experience will cover nearly 45,000 square feet and will include:
SI.com will take an interactive editorial journey throughout the year with customized state features, daily polls, trivia, contests and archival content that includes classic covers, photos and stories.
Launched on July 9, 2003, the centerpiece of SI.coms 50th anniversary coverage is an animated flash map designed to provide users with an interactive presentation of sports history for each of the 50 United States. SI.com also provides information and continuous updates about the magazine, anniversary tour, community sports outreach programs and sponsors.
Community Sports Outreach
Sports Illustrated and its affiliates, YMCA of the USA and the local parks and recreation agencies have formed a perfect partnership to enhance the quality of sports in Americas communities by combining the resources of a for-profit organization, a charitable organization and a group from the public sector.
About the YMCA (www.YMCA.net)
Americas 2,540 YMCAs are collectively the nations largest not-for-profit community service organization and charity. They serve 18.9 million people of all faiths, races, ages and incomes, including 9.3 million children, and are the largest providers of child care. YMCAs offer a broad range of programs including youth leadership, youth sports and volunteerism. Basketball, volleyball and racquetball were all invented at American YMCAs, which were also pioneers in modern aquatics. Financial assistance is available. YMCA of the USA is the organizations national resource office.
About the NRPA (www.NRPA.org)
The National Recreation and Park Association is a nonprofit professional and citizen association dedicated to advancing parks, recreation, and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people. Headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia, NRPA supports the work of public, private, and non-profit park and recreation concerns in the areas of youth development, lifelong health, quality sports and environmental stewardship.
Sports Illustrateds 50th Anniversary Ambassador of Sports
About David Robinson
David Robinsons career highlights include winning two NBA titles (1999 and 2003), playing in 10 NBA All-Star Games, winning two Olympic Gold Medals and being named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. Off the court, David and his wife Valerie created the David Robinson Foundation, and he has donated more than $9 million toward the establishment of The Carver Academy (TheCarverAcademy.org), an independent school designed to serve a culturally and economically diverse community of pre-kindergarten through fourth-grade students in San Antonio. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, the No. 1 selection of the 1987 NBA Draft passed on two basketball seasons to serve in the U.S. military. In light of Robinsons ongoing dedication to his country and community, the NBAs community service award now bears his name.
About Toyota Motor Sales (www.toyota.com)
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota in America. Toyota is Americas fourth largest carmaker and manufactures more than one million cars per year in North America. Toyota ADRs are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: TM). Established in 1957, TMS oversees operations of more than 1,390 Toyota and Lexus dealerships in 49 states. With approximately 6,700 employees, Toyota Motor Sales and its subsidiaries also are involved in distribution logistics, motor sports R&D and the general aviation industry.
Best Buy (www.bestbuy.com)
Best Buy Stores, owned and operated by Minneapolis-based Best Buy Co., Inc., is the nations leading specialty retailer of technology and entertainment products and services. Best Buy was founded in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1966. Best Buy Stores reach an estimated 300 million consumers per year through more than 550 retail stores in 48 states and online at BestBuy.com. For more information about Best Buy, visit the virtual pressroom at http://onlinepressroom.net/bestbuy.
Starter (SI.com/All-American Teen)
Starter is one of the most recognized and highly marketed brands in retail today. Through its ongoing commitment to provide innovative athletic & performance products at an unexpected value, Starter continues to maintain substantial loyalty with consumers everywhere.
In addition to the above corporate partners, Starwood Resorts & Hotels has joined SIs 50th Anniversary as the Tours hotel sponsor. Bose Corporation, Philips Electronics, Sharp Electronics and Toshiba have joined Best Buy to equip the Best Buy Best Seat in the House. Canon is also a supplier on the Tour.
About Jack Morton Worldwide (www.jackmorton.com)
Jack Morton Worldwide has designed, constructed and will operate the Toyota Presents Sports Illustrateds 50th Anniversary Tour. Jack Morton creates experiences that help the worlds leading companies improve performance, increase sales and build brands. The experiential brand communications and event marketing agency integrates live events, branded environments and interactive experiences to engage and transform employee, business and consumer audiences. Headquartered in New York, Jack Morton has a staff of over 600 employees in locations throughout the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The company is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE: IPG), and operates within IPGs Interpublic Sports and Entertainment Group, comprised of best in class IPG companies from the world of sports and entertainment.