The Sports Illustrated Group today announced details for “SI Swimsuit 24/7, From New York to Las Vegas,” a groundbreaking experiential marketing initiative dedicated to the highly-anticipated 2009 Swimsuit Issue. “SI Swimsuit 24/7, From New York to Las Vegas” features the organization’s first Swimsuit launch event in Las Vegas and the first Swimsuit branded airplane.
“This is a signature moment for the Sports Illustrated Group as we embark on a new program to provide customers with opportunities to extend their message utilizing Sports Illustrated properties and events,” said Mark Ford, President of the Sports Illustrated Group. “The Swimsuit franchise is the perfect launch vehicle for this program and demonstrates how SI can create customizable solutions for our clients through any combination of print, digital, event marketing and property sales.”
Club SI Swimsuit, presented by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority (LVCVA) is scheduled for February 12 at LAX, Las Vegas’ hottest nightclub located in the Luxor Hotel and Casino. The party is the pinnacle event in a week of launch activities for the Swimsuit franchise. More than two dozen SI Swimsuit models featured in the acclaimed annual will be in Las Vegas for a day of autograph signings and events culminating with the launch party at LAX where guests will be treated to a live performance from six-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist John Legend.
“What better place to host the first ever consumer party for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition than fabulous Las Vegas,” said Terry Jicinsky, LVCVA’s Senior Vice President of Marketing. “Las Vegas is as vibrant as ever and the Sports Illustrated event will leverage the strength of both brands and provide a platform to showcase the destination’s many amenities. Now more than ever, Las Vegas is the ideal destination to ‘Take a Break.'”
The models will journey to Las Vegas aboard “SI One,” a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700, which will be wrapped in SI Swimsuit imagery. Southwest Airlines, will unveil SI One at LaGuardia Airport in New York City on Wednesday, February 11. On the evening of the 11th, Southwest will take the Swimsuit models and a traveling party from New York to Las Vegas for the launch. Beginning February 11, SI One will fly throughout the Southwest route system for a limited time. This marks the first time that Southwest has wrapped a plane virtually nose-to-tail in imagery.
“Southwest is always open to innovative projects that showcase our fun-loving personality,” said Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines’ Vice President of Communications and Strategic Outreach. “Partnering with Sports Illustrated to launch the 2009 Swimsuit Issue gives Southwest a larger-than-life opportunity to reach fans of the most well-known magazine issue in the world. It’s also a clever way to remind travelers we intend to serve New York City from LaGuardia Airport in 2009.”
SI Swimsuit 24/7 is the first official production for the Sports Illustrated Group’s new Experiential Marketing and Property Sales initiative. This enterprise will generate new Sports Illustrated, GOLF and SI Kids public and private events and properties. To support this vision, the SI Group has realigned internal resources and named Team Velocity AOR for property and experiential marketing asset development, production and sales. Additional programs and events will be announced later this year.
“SI Properties and Experiential Marketing will be focused on the development of franchise-wide, monetizeable property assets and work directly with clients to deliver a very customized solution,” said Andrew Judelson, Sports Illustrated Group CMO.
SI Swimsuit 24/7 will begin with a Bon Voyage event at New York’s Pranna Restaurant. A party of swimsuit models, VIPs and executives will be taken from the party to Las Vegas where sponsors will incorporate various levels of activation through events, contesting and presence at the launch party. For example:
- LVCVA proudly presents Club SI Swimsuit Las Vegas, an anchor event in a week of launch activities surrounding the launch of the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. On Thursday, February 12, 2009, more than a dozen SI Swimsuit models featured in the acclaimed annual will descend upon Las Vegas for a day of autograph signings and photo opportunities at select resorts, all culminating with the first ever launch party in Las Vegas.
- SoBe Lifewater has teamed with Sports Illustrated to create a promotional sweepstakes through radio promotions and the SoBe Lifewater Facebook group page, (http://www.facebook.com/sobe). Each radio spot gives consumers a chance to attend the Club SI Swimsuit Las Vegas party. SoBe Lifewater product will also be served exclusively at both the NY event and the Las Vegas party, with custom bar displays for SoBe Lifewater at the Las Vegas event.
- For the first time ever, Nissan has exclusive ownership of the 2009 SI Swimsuit Cover model teaser campaign video with seven days of presence on the SI.com homepage. In addition to their Associate sponsorship of Club SI Swimsuit, Nissan is sponsoring the Z-List Sweepstakes with SI Swimsuit model Melissa Keller along with a downloadable calendar.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit franchise reaches more than 66 million adults (approximately one in three Americans over the age of 18). The Swimsuit Issue debuted in 1963 and has become a staple of American culture and has played an integral part in the careers of models such as Kathy Ireland, Cheryl Tiegs, Tyra Banks, Elle MacPherson, Christie Brinkley and Heidi Klum. A digital powerhouse, SI.com/swimsuit drew more than 8 million visitors last year and 500 million page views. The 2009 Swimsuit Issue cover model will be revealed on The Late Show with David Letterman on Monday, February 9.
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