Sports Illustrated, one of the most recognizable brand names in sports is ready to expand its sports media presence. The company, which is part of Time Inc., is adding to its roster of original video with a 30-minute live-streaming talk show every weekday beginning next Monday. The show will air daily at 1 p.m. EST and will be hosted by Maggie Gray, the lead anchor for Sports Illustrated video content, and will include a rotating cast of the magazine’s top writers and newsmakers. The 1 p.m. EST timeslot was chosen as it is SI’s peak traffic time. The show will also be sponsored by Ford Motor Company. SI developed the concept for the show and brought it to Ford, which agreed to a sponsorship deal that runs through October. After October both sides will evaluate the program and determine whether to continue with it.
“Three years ago the mandate was to simply bring Sports Illustrated to life in video form,” said Ian Orefice, executive producer for news and sports at the Time Inc. ”The reason for ‘SI Now’ is that we weren’t doing enough for the immediate viewer. We didn’t have that deeper connection.”
Ford is the show’s only advertiser and with this sponsorship agreement they are looking to build brand awareness for the vehicles that most appeal to SI’s core audience of 18-to-34-year-old men.
“We want viewers of all our digital content to know and think about our brand first when they begin the shopping process,” said Erica Bigley, Ford’s digital media manager.
Photo courtesy of: CBS Local