SI picks Edelman for 50th anniversary PR

NEW YORK: Sports Illustrated has tapped Edelman's sports & entertainment marketing division to provide PR support for its 50th anniversary celebration.

NEW YORK: Sports Illustrated has tapped Edelman's sports & entertainment marketing division to provide PR support for its 50th anniversary celebration.

Billed as the magazine's most ambitious marketing-communications effort ever, the program will feature a grassroots, mobile marketing tour that will visit all 50 states and include a focus on grabbing the attention of local and regional media.

"This is a nationwide celebration built on the premise of sports being an enormous source for good in America, and a catalyst for giving Americans a sense of community," said Art Berke, VP of communications for Sports Illustrated.

Three other firms pitched for this account. Berke said Edelman won because of a chemistry with the people who would be handling it, the agency's history of successfully "leveraging sponsors and sponsorships at major events," as well as its national reach. "Those 11 regional offices were very key to us," Berke said.

"SI is such an iconic brand, and the program is so rich and comprehensive," said Mary Griswold, deputy GM of Edelman Sports. "We will provide the day-in, day-out PR support that is needed for the size and scope of this account."

In all, 11 people will work on the effort - five from Edelman and six from Sports Illustrated. They have been divided into teams, each of which will handle a different geographic area.

The campaign, which kicks off in July, will receive editorial support, as each week Sports Illustrated will highlight sports in a different state. And part of the program will focus on improving sports through YMCAs and parks departments.

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