Sports Illustrated announced Thursday (Sept. 24) the launch of “SI Films,” an interactive digital platform with a focus on creating and providing original video programming.
The move for Sports Illustrated, which is primarily known for its popular print publication, is designed to expand the brand’s reach as its audience begins to consume more video content on a daily basis.
“With changing consumption habits, especially among millennials, and the plethora of popular distribution outlets at hand, there are limitless opportunities to offer an independent voice and quality video programming,” Paul Fichtenbaum, Sports Illustrated Group editor, said in a press release.
“SI Films” will feature content from filmmakers, producers and journalists from within Time Inc. (the company that owns SI), as well as outside production companies such as Mandalay Sports Media and Velocity.
And to celebrate the launch of the new platform, the company premiered two new films: “Brett Favre: Life After the Game,” which highlights the NFL quarterback’s playing career and life as a retiree, and “The Rise and Fall of the Danbury Thrashers,” the story of a minor league hockey team, adapted from Jon Wertheim’s Jan. 20, 2014 magazine story.
Also, as part of SI’s deal with Mandalay Sports Media, Mike Tollin and Jon Weinbach will produce “Patrick and ‘Zo,” a unique look at the friendship and rivalry between NBA centers Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning. The deal with Velocity will result in the creation of the new video franchise “100 Greatest Moments in Sports.” Both projects are slated for release later this year.
The launch of “SI Films” follows the company’s acquisition earlier this year of FanSided, a network of 300 sports, entertainment and lifestyle websites, as well as the creation of the college football-driven Campus Rush site – which all highlights SI’s desire to expand its digital empire.
Take a look at the “SI Films” platform here.