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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sports Illustrated opted to keep Solo, U.S. women's team off cover

It was a busy week for Sports Illustrated to narrow down their cover art. Ultimately, as you can see below, Yankee captain Derek Jeter again got the front-page treatment, while the American women's soccer team was bumped inside.
The raw emotion on the faces of the American players following their shootout victory would also have been far more compelling than what we have today.
There was also the death of a fan going for a souvenir to give to his young son. Don't forget a case could be made for the tragedy at the Ballpark in Arlington.
The American women's team won what is being dubbed an instant classic game over Brazil in the World Cup quarterfinals.
Reportedly, the Americans' potential defeat in Wednesday's semifinal was reason enough to bump the ladies, who already had already done an SI photo shoot prior to the Cup opener.
It seems hard to justify, given Hope Solo's instant popularity, that the powers that be would opt instead for Jeter with the single-copy (retail) sales that could be had putting a the attractive goalkeeper on the front. Perhaps the potential backlash was enough to land Jeter the cover spot.
Also, think about it: An attractive woman on the cover sells copies to men, while having a women's team on the cover could attract female buyers. Also consider where magazines are purchased: Grocery stores, drug stores, book stores and other centers of commerce. Not to generalize, but women have a reputation for shopping for, well, anything and everything.
Yahoo Sports blog Dirty Tackle argues: "The U.S. men's loss to Ghana last summer didn't really make Landon Donovan's goal against Algeria any less spectacular."
It then goes on to point out the expectation for the American women is very high and a quarterfinal win then does not usurp a player on the most famous of all baseball teams reaching a rare milestone.
This is, of course, far from the first time Jeter has graced SI's cover.
So, in terms of merit, sure, the Jeter moment should win. But if you're talking about making money, which most publications are, Solo and Co. may have been the way to go.


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